Homeless doesn’t always mean street homeless.
Many homeless are staying on sofas or with friends and family, yet have no home themselves and congregate in town.
Yet if you walk through town in the early hours there are too many street homeless on the pavement. I’ve heard people say “I’m not giving them anymore they’re not homeless” or “they will buy drink or drugs”.
I even heard “they have a BMW and well fed dog and came out of a house”.
Listen. No-one has sat there and said I’m homeless please give me money. Give to them or don’t. Don’t add conditions to your contribution.
Yet there are many many people hoping for money, food, or just sat there as it’s their home town or because it’s safer to be around people.
Yes many have decided to drink, or take drugs or committed crime, or simply had their family break down or they are poorly, physically/mentally, or have lost their job etc. We don’t know. It matters not how they got to where they are in life. It’s dealing with the here and now. What worries me right now is the doorways, car parks, Beetwell Street, old court..... there are dozens of people. These people are deteriorating day by day. Asleep, stood up, inappropriately dressed. They seem empty, unpredictable, arguing. Many are taking something called black mamba, spice.
Previously, when people had issues with well known drugs and alcohol, they could be helped somewhat.
But these drugs now, and affects of what the people in our town are taking, are unknown, to them, to us, the police, medical professionals. It affects people differently, some go into a trance, others don’t know what’s happening, others strip off, and it’s dangerous to everyone. People are coming out of prison looking worse than when they went in. Something has to be done now. I was in town recently with my 83-year-old nanna. Whilst stood saying goodbye, three men started arguing loudly.
A lady came over to us as she said she was frightened. My son faced similar too. My nanna told me she had been followed and watched on another day by a male. She has been coming to town alone since my grandad died.
I do worry, about our town, and people in it, and the inappropriate antisocial behaviour of desperate people. No police presence, nothing. I don’t know what the answer is. But we all need to help each other. Look out for each other and don’t judge others.