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homeless people on doorstep

(139 Posts)
LeggyLoo Tue 01-Dec-20 21:26:16

Recently a group of ?homeless people have been meeting on our doorstep and spending about an hour late at night (loudly) talking to each other, seemingly catching up? and swapping/taking drugs. This isn't every night, but has been becoming more frequent over the last month.

We've had 2 break ins in the last 3 months. I don't think it is this group of people responsible- just for context of feeling uneasy about strangers congregating outside our front door and bedroom window.

I am completely sympathetic for the situation they are in, particularly in winter and during a pandemic. I also understand that living in a city there will always be homeless people- in no way am I 'looking down on them' or blaming them for their situation (If you find this relevant, we also make a yearly donation to a local homeless charity- I know AIBU can be brutal...).
There are various parks close by (including one on our road) with benches where they could meet, but I'm not sure why they have chosen our house?? For this reason I don't want to tell them to go away as it seems mean in the circumstances.

But I also have a 1.5 year old DS who has been woken by them and scared by loud strangers' voices and hasn't wanted to be away from me even after they've left as he is scared.

Any idea what I can do?! Can I contact anyone? Should I approach them myself to ask them to move on? Let them get on with it and accept my doorstep has become some sort of meeting place?

OP’s posts: |
Fatfunt Tue 01-Dec-20 21:40:38

Wow that’s pretty odd. Do you live on a busy street? And are they actually on your doorstep or around your house?

audweb Tue 01-Dec-20 21:45:06

Ask them to move if you don’t feel too threatened? If not, maybe Phone the local council anti social behaviour team, community police perhaps at first and get them to ask? I wouldn’t put up with it, I live in an inner city area, and I appreciate people need places to congregate but they are disturbing you and your family, and it’s not fair on your child.

FYI I don’t think it’s that odd - living in a super urban area I’ve had similar on my front steps of my flats, plus random people chatting loudly outside our windows at night. These things happen.

Palavah Tue 01-Dec-20 21:52:24

Whether they are homeless or not, I would politely asking anyone being too noisy on my doorstep/ outside my house to keep it down.

LeggyLoo Tue 01-Dec-20 21:55:38

Not a busy street at all, a residential street in inner city area just off a main road. Terraced houses and they are actually on the doorstep (which is covered in dead leaves, need to clear them up but now don't want to make it too inviting...), maybe they're mixing it up and sitting on other people's doorsteps on the other nights?!

I did poke my head round the curtain earlier and a guy said 'sorry we're going now' and after a couple of minutes they did head off to be fair to them!

I would just feel so awful going out to ask them to move and then go back in to my house when they have nowhere to go sad

Council is an option, although not sure what they could do/if they could do anything.

I just don't want to be a dick about it!

OP’s posts: |
BananaPop2020 Tue 01-Dec-20 21:57:22

I would be nipping this in the bud pronto!

LeggyLoo Tue 01-Dec-20 22:14:57

@BananaPop2020 what would you do?

OP’s posts: |
Smallsteps88 Tue 01-Dec-20 22:17:48

Stick your head out and say “folks I’ve got babies trying to sleep here, could you take it somewhere else please?”

Hopefully they’ll make note to avoid your doorstep in future.

FarquarKumquatsmama Tue 01-Dec-20 22:18:22

Just explain that they woke up your son and I’m sure they’ll meet somewhere else.

TheRealJeanLouise Tue 01-Dec-20 22:20:22

I’d poke my head out the door/window and say “sorry guys but my baby is asleep just where you’re chatting and he keeps waking up, would you mind gathering down the road?” They will probably apologise and move on. If they don’t call 101 in the morning.

BananaPop2020 Tue 01-Dec-20 22:21:17

@LeggyLoo I would actually politely but firmly confront it head on, but I appreciate that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. You could approach Council, Police, local ASB team?

Janaih Tue 01-Dec-20 22:22:20

So is the doorstep your property? Either way I would report to police non emergency line.

MaryShelleysDracula Tue 01-Dec-20 22:22:43

Ask them to move on! If I understand correctly this is your own doorway, not a communal area even? Ask nicely for them to move on and don't come back as they are disturbing you and your family-they may not (personal experience of homeless drug users on communal stairs/ walkway outside my old flat) and if they do call the police. Every time. You can't let people gather and use drugs on your doorstep!

chuffinno Tue 01-Dec-20 22:25:13

Firmly but politely ask them to move on as you have babies sleeping.
Very odd that they've chosen a private house to sit outside.

WorraLiberty Tue 01-Dec-20 22:34:14

This is ridiculous

Homeless people aren't some sort of 'special breed'.

If they're disturbing you and your family, ask them to move off of your doorstep confused

amicissimma Tue 01-Dec-20 22:37:19

Are they homeless or just hanging about there during the day?

I work with an organisation that overlaps a bit with our local homeless shelter and support group. The shelter have been sending observers out in the middle of the night from time to time during lockdown, looking for anyone sleeping out, as most of the homeless have been found accommodation by the council since Covid struck. They have found only 2 people, both known to everyone involved, and both preferring to stay out. Which is odd, because there are dozens of 'homeless' in each shopping area during the day.

The police probably know about any regular homeless or those who tend to hang around on the streets. Around here they keep a bit of an eye on them, partly to keep antisocial behaviour at bay, but also to ensure that they are OK. Sometimes they (the street people) get abuse from members of the general public.

If you are happy to do so, I would suggest just politely asking them to move as they are disturbing your child. If not, there will probably be a support organisation and/or shelter in your area who you could speak to. Generally they like to keep as good a relationship as possible between the local residents and the people hanging about on the street. Ours is connected to the FoodBank, so they would know who to ask. Or you could ask the advice of the Police.

Dongdingdong Tue 01-Dec-20 22:39:24

Ask them to move if you don’t feel too threatened?

What I don’t understand is how on MN, people like the OP clearly feel really sorry for homeless people (quite rightly) but on the other hand you get posters using language like “if you’re feeling threatened” - and people seem okay with that, as if it’s the norm. Why would you feel “threatened” by these people - is it just because they are “homeless”? confused

On the other hand OP I do find it odd that they are gathering on a residential doorstep. I’d understand if you lived in a block of flats, but not a terraced house. I’ve lived in a terrace in a built up area of inner London for many years and have never experienced anything like that.

amicissimma Tue 01-Dec-20 22:41:00

WorraLiberty

This is ridiculous

Homeless people aren't some sort of 'special breed'.

If they're disturbing you and your family, ask them to move off of your doorstep confused

It's true that they're not a 'special breed', but a group of people who have spent a good few hours drinking cheap cider, which can sometimes be the case with those who like to hang around on doorsteps, can be quite intimidating.

Cherrysoup Tue 01-Dec-20 22:42:07

Tell them to go. If they become arsey, call the police. Wtf are they doing gathering on your doorstep? So bizarre!

Dongdingdong Tue 01-Dec-20 22:43:09

Very odd that they've chosen a private house to sit outside.

I agree - as a born and bred Londoner I’ve never come across this before.

Stormwhale Tue 01-Dec-20 22:44:06

@Dongdingdong I would feel threatened by people using drugs on my doorstep, whether they were homeless or not!

VetiverAndLavender Tue 01-Dec-20 22:45:14

Swapping and taking drugs? Yeah, whether or not they're homeless, I wouldn't be happy with that! I wouldn't really want to talk to them about it face to face, either, but that's just me.

As for why someone might feel threatened... Well, for one thing, it's night. There's a group of them. They're swapping/taking drugs. They're apparently noisy or boisterous, which can be intimidating. And yes, I'm more likely to be wary of someone who looks homeless than of someone who doesn't, because so many of the homeless have addictions and mental illnesses than could (not always do, but definitely could) make them more unstable and therefore potentially dangerous. It would depend on the person and how threatening they looked, but I'd say the average homeless person is more frightening than the average non-homeless person. Sorry if that's offensive.

Lactarius Tue 01-Dec-20 22:46:06

I'm probably a bad person but my first thoughts were towards hosepipes and spikes

Dongdingdong Tue 01-Dec-20 22:46:07

I would feel threatened by people using drugs on my doorstep, whether they were homeless or not!

So would I. But it just feels like a double standard sometimes - on the one hand it’s, “oh, I feel so sorry for these people who are in this dreadful situation through no fault of their own” and on the other hand, it’s “call the police immediately!”

Dongdingdong Tue 01-Dec-20 22:47:54

I'm probably a bad person but my first thoughts were towards hosepipes and spikes

hmm

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