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to be shocked at the degree of homelessness abroad

(12 Posts)
paintandbrush Fri 19-Feb-16 23:51:09

I've been around Western Europe over the last few years (Paris, Munich, Vienna, Madrid and some smaller towns), mostly working for a few months in each, and have been absolutely floored by the want you see compared to home. People love to complain about benefits but rare patriotic moment the Great British Welfare System is something we should be so proud of, and fight so hard to keep.

Despite coming from a city where the jobs are few and the vodka is cheap, I've never in all my life seen street drinking, rough sleepers, mentally individuals with no support whatsoever on this scale. It's bloody cold in Feb too. So much for Western Europe being so developed and whatnot. Is this just a big-city thing generally?

Pipbin Fri 19-Feb-16 23:53:02

I think it is a big city thing tbh.
I find it shocking whenever I go into London.
I don't notice it so much in Munich but it was dreadful in San Francisco.

Fatmomma99 Fri 19-Feb-16 23:53:50

I live in a city and rarely go out, but went out last Friday (a week ago) and walked from one end of town to another. I passed 7 rough sleepers. I don't think we've got much to be proud of.

I also work with people with various needs, and there are bugger-all support systems - everything's been cut to fuck and there's almost nothing.

I hate the fucking Tories

forkhandles4candles Fri 19-Feb-16 23:55:21

Tons of people sleeping out here in Central London.

paintandbrush Fri 19-Feb-16 23:56:28

*mentally ill, I meant.

VagueIdeas Fri 19-Feb-16 23:59:39

I never used to see homeless people in the Essex town I grew up in. I know of several now - very long term as well. It breaks my heart to see that rough sleepers are no longer a "big city" problem, but commuter towns as well.

Rudeabaga Sat 20-Feb-16 00:11:38

I work in a small town in the UK. Lots of people sleeping out at the moment - I'd say ten or so people a night, varying as people move between sofas, floors, hospital and the street. All local - in the sense that this isn't the kind of place, like London or Brighton, people who are already sleeping rough travel to (not that I think that matters) - they all grew up here or have lived here for a significant time.

No funding for tenancy support, mental health support or for rehousing. Grim. I think we have nothing to be proud of.

Of course we are doing much better than somewhere like Washington DC, which shocked me when I briefly visited. Passed a really grand public building - marble, pillars & columns - and saw crowds of homeless people camped out on the steps at night, in the middle of winter. Like a small village. Like it was normal. They were just slumped there. It reminded me of Australia, seeing aboriginal people just sitting there absolutely hopeless. I thought, how awful to be born in a country that so obviously does not give a shit about you. Sadly the UK is going the same way.

RudeElf Sat 20-Feb-16 00:15:47

I'm near belfast and this week there was a 3rd homeless death in just the last few weeks. I dont ever remember it being like this. Maybe its just being reported more? But it definitely seems a much bigger problem than even a year ago.

TitClash Sat 20-Feb-16 00:23:14

YANBU, we dont have a perfect welfare, school healthcare system, but its the best worldwide IMO.
I'm proud of my country and would resist any attempts to make it more like anywhere else.

antimatter Sat 20-Feb-16 00:25:01

Just wait and see how you'd react to US of A for the number of homeless and mentally unwell people on the street.

I visited Portland and was shocked how many. They also beg (I guess some are totally without any means or is it that drug problems are wide spread?), much more than in London.

Moopsboopsmum Sat 20-Feb-16 03:49:19

I used to be a rough sleeper around the South coast, Holland and Belgium and I'm afraid many people do it through choice. Their mental health may not be great but for some the responsibility of a home is not something they want to deal with. I was out there over twenty years ago so it's definitely not a new problem in western Europe. Back then there were some also Iraqis etc. so that's not new either.

paintandbrush Sat 20-Feb-16 08:30:36

did you not get cold moopboop? how did you manage?

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