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...to say something to them? (possibly homeless)

(60 Posts)
depecheNO Fri 16-Jan-15 17:31:37

I just saw three people and a dog get out of a tent over in the park across from my flat. (I'm in a large apartment block, so probably not the only one who has noticed. I didn't want to post about this on Facebook as I have a few neighbours on there and it might draw more attention to them.)

They've been here at least a week, but it's the first time I've seen any of them and I assumed that the tent was abandoned. The park is fairly secluded, but obviously that's no good if us lot can see over the hedges, and in other words, I can see better spots for them based on my field of view. It's freezing outside and I feel really bad for them, but I wouldn't want to interfere. Seems like they have coats, but what about food and potentially walking ages to a water source? I'm honestly not one of those competitive philanthropists, and the last thing I'd want is for them to feel like that's the case.

If it helps, this is a high security building with a strong community spirit, so we're not really worried about any of the personal safety repercussions highlighted in the "man in car park every day" thread - only "Is it appropriate?"

WWYD?

heygoldfish Fri 16-Jan-15 17:33:01

I don't understand - say what to them?

WorraLiberty Fri 16-Jan-15 17:36:08

I'm surprised they've managed to stay there a whole week, without being made to move on?

If you're worried about their warmth/welfare etc then call 101, although if you have a strong community spirit, someone has probably done that already.

depecheNO Fri 16-Jan-15 17:36:39

To ask them if they're alright. There are quite a lot of homeless people around here who I talk to regularly.

I think I probably am BU.

heygoldfish Fri 16-Jan-15 17:38:24

To be honest I'd probably strongly advise against that.

As Worra has said, the best thing to do would be to ring 101.

depecheNO Fri 16-Jan-15 17:38:48

The community spirit is confined to the building, Worra. I think I'd need to tell people about the group in the park for them to take interest. If I called 101, would they be made to move on? I don't want to ruin this for them as they're really no trouble and the homeless people I have spoken to seem to think such services are quite unhelpful/insensitive.

WorraLiberty Fri 16-Jan-15 17:41:02

Yes they would be moved on, but not just told to fuck off IYSWIM.

They would be given advice on how to get proper shelter etc.

Does no-one use the park? I'm really surprised they've remained there for this long.

FightOrFlight Fri 16-Jan-15 17:41:29

Are there any badger setts in the area? < undercover activitsts >

On a serious note, if you have the opportunity say hello to them and ask if they are okay. If there is a problem with access to clean water you could offer to fill a few litre bottles for them now and then.

If you bring attention to them by phoning 101 they will probably just move them on rather than anything else.

depecheNO Fri 16-Jan-15 17:42:26

Possibly they have nowhere to go because of the dog. I know a man who stays on the streets when none of his friends will have the dog while he spends the night in a hotel. People have tried to buy her from him, but he won't give her up for his own welfare and to be honest, why should he?

viruswithhold Fri 16-Jan-15 17:42:38

I really don't see how ringing 101 would be helpful? Are u frightened of them op? Can someone go with u whilst u offer them some warm food? Its freezing right now an they are in a tent, hot water bottles, camping stove would be useful to them...

heygoldfish Fri 16-Jan-15 17:44:11

No, no, PLEASE don't talk to them, or fill water bottles up.

Chances are they are fine, but there also a strong to medium chance they are not, and in other words do not take the risk.

The last young man we had who was living in a tent required two security guards with staff to visit him at his flat. There was a good reason for that.

It's lovely people want to help but protect yourselves. Please.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 16-Jan-15 17:44:53

Homeless people camping has become a massive issue where we are (Canada). Nimbys don't like camping but are unwilling to have shelters and supportive housing in their area wankers.

Some of this depends on their circumstances. Are all three adult, male, in good health? What services there are in your area affects things. Are there shelters? Single sex? Full?

WorraLiberty Fri 16-Jan-15 17:45:13

I get the point about the dog being a possible barrier to getting shelter, but I don't know what else to suggest?

They can't stay in the park forever. What (if any) toilet facilities are there? And as you say, what about water?

So what now?

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 16-Jan-15 17:46:10

Some places will take dogs Where are you, vaguely?

Nottalotta Fri 16-Jan-15 17:48:01

Rarely are homeless people homicidal maniacs. However in the area where i live we do have a group of hardened drinkers, who aren't ever so pleasant to the public in general. What you could do is make a report to Streetlink. This will be sent on to the homeless dept of the local council who are obliged to respond.

babymouse Fri 16-Jan-15 17:48:35

Call the local council - a lot of the emergency bad weather protocols have been triggered and that allows for temporary accommodation that most likely allows for pets. The council can also put them in touch with people can support them into housing

Loletta Fri 16-Jan-15 17:49:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

babymouse Fri 16-Jan-15 17:49:48

The council also probably has outreach teams that will talk to them so you don't have too.

Nottalotta Fri 16-Jan-15 17:50:54

Something else to consider, we have a homeless migrant worker, lives in a tent, eats and showers at work. Saving his money for a car. Can't afford rent and a car at the moment and a car is his priority.

ghostyslovesheep Fri 16-Jan-15 17:51:00

your council should have a rough sleeper person or people who you can report this to - they will then investigate

depecheNO Fri 16-Jan-15 17:51:54

I'm not at all bothered by them. Frankly, if their standard of living is acceptable to them, I couldn't give less of a fuck about their lifestyle choice. It seems only fair that they have somewhere to rest and leave their things, whatever else is going on for them, and I think the government should suck it up if they're willing to house all these teenagers (not all of whom are very pleasant to be around, especially at the weekends) on the basis of investment in qualifications, but give very few options to people who have no base and limited prospects, IYSWIM. /ideological tangent

I think they may be nocturnal for safety reasons and spend the night wandering, but that's just speculation based on having spotted them all leaving at once an hour ago. Not sure on the sex, or services available, only that homeless people don't seem to be moved on as much around here as where I used to live. (This is a big student town.)

Dragonfly71 Fri 16-Jan-15 17:52:05

There may be an outreach homeless service near you, who will have workers that can go and have a chat. Shelter website may have info or your local homelessness charity. They would help them, if they want to, access a shelter and often give out food, blankets etc for those who don't want to. Some homeless people want to stay away from shelters etc and brave the cold in order to maintain their independence.
It's lovely that you actually care, but maybe don't go over alone as they might assume you are going to have a go and be defensive.NOT slighting them at all, but best to be on the safe side and go with someone.

ghostyslovesheep Fri 16-Jan-15 17:52:27

or "StreetLink, the national rough sleeping reporting line. You can report a rough sleeper online or call 0300 500 0914"

heygoldfish Fri 16-Jan-15 17:56:08

It's best not to go at all.

There are numerous possibilities as to how three men have ended up in a tent and while only some of these are linked to violence there is nonetheless a fair possibility they have recently been released from prison.

They don't have to be maniacs to cause harm.

depecheNO Fri 16-Jan-15 17:56:08

MrsTerry I'm in Devon.

Thank you all so far. I can talk to the senior security person for the building as he's always around, but initially I did wonder if I'd be bothering him unnecessarily because I tend to overreact to welfare issues (e.g. offering to pick up my friends' shopping when they're mildly ill or busy - I say that not to gloat, but to illustrate the level of anxiety I have over humanitarian issues).

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