The Great Recession that began in 2007 is provoking a sharp rise in newly-homeless people around the world.
As supportive public services in many cities have become overburdened, more people have abandoned the shelter system altogether and move to tent cities.
58-year-old Jackie has lived in a tent city, 30 miles outside Detroit, since last June. She’s a middle-class, New York Times-reading laboratory technician from the upmarket town of Saline, Michigan.She lost her job, then her home, and with no social services net to save her, ended up on the streets.A local shelter organisation referred her to Camp Take Notice.
Up to 300 people will sleep rough on the streets of London tonight, many of them skilled, intelligent and likeable people, and many of whom want to work.People end up homeless because of redundancy, a relationship breakdown, poor mental health, alcohol/substance addiction, domestic abuse.
The streets are a dangerous place to be – homeless people are 13 times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than the general public, and 47 times more likely to be a victim of theft.
Homeless people have a right to being treated with the same respect as anyone else. In a recent study though, almost two thirds of rough sleepers said they had been insulted by a member of the public, and shockingly, one in ten said that they had been urinated on.
Hundreds of children sleeping rough in London are at risk of being driven into crime and prostitution because officially they do not exist.Homelessness affects many more people than simply those sleeping rough. There are around 400,000 ‘hidden homeless’ in the UK, living out of sight in hostels, ‘sofa-surfing’ or squatting.
3,808 homeless in Ireland recorded in census 2011.
6 new presentations of homelessness in Dublin per day.(2013)
Just over 30 of homeless are women
139 people sleeping rough in Dublin on November 12th (Winter Rough Sleeper Count 2013)
307 Girls aged 19 or under recorded as homeless in the 2011 census.
“I came from a very stable, well-liked family here in Tallaght. Never did I think I would end up on the streets of the same part of Dublin where I grew up.”
Until late autumn Quigley camped out each night below the sheltered entrance to a Catholic priory in the heart of Tallaght village. He has since moved into the subterranean car park for the winter although there are some nights when he gets a room in one of the city’s hostels.
Mark has had frequent spells of sleeping rough and has faced physical and verbal abuse in Belfast.
“Many times I have been spat at, kicked in the face and in the stomach. I don’t know how many times I have been in hospital,” he said.
Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson on Derry City Council, Cllr, Tony Hassan said,
“ Over the last number of weeks I had more people in my constituency office presenting themselves homeless because of repossessions than in the whole of the 2011.And the Housing Executive cannot get any temporary accommodation for them.Figures are showing that almost 1800 people are homeless in the Derry City Council area and growing each day“.