Depressing Bridge

edited July 2018 in Local discussion
Is there anything planned to help those people who are sleeping under the bridge. It has been going on for a while now.
No only it is really depressing to walk by every day but I am also wondering why the councils doesn't do anything.
Shame on them.


  • Anybody I talk to from Reading to Romford says there is now an abundance of rough sleepers in their area so it is not localised.

    The shelters were full up 20 odd years ago so what is it going to be like now?
  • The founder of the Big Issue used to claim that there was more than enough room in the shelters, but many homeless people chose not to use them for a variety of reasons - mental health issues being one, but inability to use illegal drugs in the shelters being another. At least one person regularly under the bridge has been given shelter by the council but then been forced to leave because they won't quit.

    It's generally not as simple as people failing to help - what do you do when the people would rather Iive on the street than accept help? I have an atypically authoritarian answer to that question, but I usually find that the people who make the most noise about needing to help are also least likely to agree that homeless people should be compelled not to live on the streets.
  • edited July 2018
    I was in a shelter 20 odd years ago and the queues started at about 5pm, after 7 they were full and people used to go as far as Chelmsford to get a space, i had a very lucky offer of a long term secure hostel as i was young, others were not lucky.

    People who choose to live on the streets are of course a different matter.
  • If we:

    1. Had better mental health provisions
    2. Legaliased drug use and allowed use in the hostels would that improve the situation?
  • i would encourage nay force people to read 'Chasing The Scream' personally and then legalise all plant based drugs.
  • @HolbornFox what do you think we should do about homelessness. Because what we are doing now currently isn't working
  • I work within the homeless sector. There is lots of resource and these people have full access and choose to beg. My old neighbour used to spend all his money on drugs. Deal more drugs to kids then during the day used to beg. They should be moved on
  • You get the same beds and all just outside Milton Keynes Station, last place I expected that
  • edited July 2018
    @Sutent I am not sure what we are doing now?

    Shelter do surveys to get in the paper and raise revenue, never seen them do any good with it though.

    I don't necessarily know what I would do but I do know that the place that literally saved me and put me on the straight and narrow has closed due to funding cuts so reopening that would be first.

    I would also legalise all non-synthetic drugs as above.

    I would also give people supported or local authority housing priority in the area or city they were born, followed by the county, followed by the country.

    What would you do?
  • Thanks very much raston got you link. It is very informative.

    So it's very good to know that the council is doing a lot about it, as it's also depressing to acknowledge that many people are coming back because people are giving them money and food. it is great to be generous, but it's clearly wrong to give to people on the street, because all the money goes to drugs.

    It's very bad that rats and faeces were found during the clean-ups, and it's not acceptable that this is posing a threat to people' s health.

    I do not envisage the situation to become any better, as it's been like that constantly for how many months now?

    Anyway.....I do hope that the people reading this will stop donating. I know it's a difficult and controversial topic, but we need to start somewhere to solve it.

    I will also start talking to them as advised. Maybe something good will come out of it.

  • What happens if people stop giving money to them? Do you think they will just stop taking drugs, or do you think they will get money other ways?
  • And what is your solution then?

    Keep giving them money that you know will go directly supporting drugs and the criminals around?

    Stop donating is the first step. Other steps need to be taken, but stopping giving money and letting the professionals dealing with it is going to be a better solution than leaving everything as it stands today, or am I wrong?

    Giving money to beggars is always the wrong thing, as many times it fuels the begging mafia. I can forward you many articles in case you will be interested in reading about it maybe?

    But by all means...all solutions or suggestion are welcome.
  • We've had this discussion so many times.

    Last year there was an active crack house in my road. I saw almost all of the people who sleep under the bridge going in and out. At least two lived there, along with Tesco guitar busker who has now moved on, and just went back to the beds at rush hour times - you'll notice there's no one there most of the day time or through the early hours. They are not all homeless.
  • There is a big notice on the wall there about Islington council's work too.
  • Oh, don't get me wrong. I have no answers.

    I guess just be aware you are giving money for heroin.

    I think the solution comes from miles upstream. Helping people well before they are in this situation.
  • Yes you are both very right

    It is a world problem and not just stroud green.

    But i found the notice written by the council quite honest and positive

    Probably not all of them will turn into thieves and something good will come for some of them.

    I feel so sorry for them every time i wall past and sad for the great potential of every human being thrown away like that.

    Anyway...i will try and engage with some of them to see if there is any sparkle.

    But yes the question is: what do you ethically do with someone who goes from jail to stealing to the street with no possiblyle escape?

    Thanks for the answers
  • Stop criminalising them.
  • @HolbornFox yes no criminalisation is intended. More support would be needed to help people who can exit that vicious circle.

    But once acknowledged that the circle can’t be broken, what next?

    As i mentioned earlier i will try engaging with them, migbht be a drop in the ocean, but it is always worth it.

    I will also contact charities to understand, apart from donating, what else i can do as a single individual.
  • edited August 2018
    What circle would you want them to be in instead?

    Is working minimum wage for 50 hours a week and living in a damp bedsit any better?

    If you stopped criminalising them (edit: If WE stopped criminalising them) they wouldn't have to steal a £5 steak from a billion pound conglomerate and wind up doing bird.

    Charities give stats that say give them the money and then they maybe will give some to the helpless (after costs guv).

    No thanks, I'll give it to whom I want, as and when I feel like it, thanks.
  • The general sense I’m getting from this page is that these rough “sleepers” aren’t sleepers at all: They sit on bedding during the day to give the impression that they’re homeless so that sympathetic passersby give them money, which they then spend on drugs. Is this correct?
  • So they say scruffy but that it would take a lot of shekels to pay for a serious class A habit, cannot see the maths myself.
  • Well, Fox, are there any feasible estimates of the take on those pitches to compare them with the going rate for the drugs? Perhaps there are supplementary sources of income to top-up for a hit, or are there cheaper alternatives with which some addicts will make do?

    Like so many others, it pains me to see people living like this (even if they actually live somewhere else, they seem to spend a lot of their day in the most dismal, depressing part of Stroud Green in horrible conditions), a third world existence in what is supposed to be a first world country.
  • edited November 2018
  • I'm guessing, based on the local Piccadilly night time street population where I work and what the police tell us about them (as they are also responsible for quite a lot of the shoplifting), that at least some of the women possibly pay for their drugs by selling themselves. That is just a horrible way to live. In my opinion.

    It's a fact that the mattresses are mostly empty during the day, and that some of the people there in peak hours lived in the crack house. My chap gave evidence at the trial and saw the residents. The Circle 33 housing association tenant whose was the named tenant was one of the morning shift rough sleepers at the time. Now gone.

  • edited November 2018
  • Why would it be anything to do with the police? Rough sleeping is not illegal. Begging is but none of them are as far as I can see.
  • Hi all, I am new to this group and relatively new to the hood. In reading through this thread I was really heartened to see thoughtful debate from neighbors with a lot of compassion. It looks like Islington council is partnering with the Single Homeless Project, which uses a 'Housing First' approach to help people complex needs like addiction that wouldn't otherwise be able to access housing services. Like hopefully our friends under the bridge. I wonder if anyone else would be interested in organising a fundraiser for SHP? I don't have any grand ideas yet, but seems like there are enough people on here that care so we might be able to put something great together to raise some funds. LMK if this sounds like a good idea, thanks all!
Sign In or Register to comment.