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Homeless

Women

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Male
terry  Male  West Yorkshire 5-Mar-2019 14:43 Message #4736493
I don't know the facts, but am pretty sure someone on here will have an idea.
I've heard for someone to be officially verified as homeless they have to be sleeping on the streets, to literally bed down on the streets at night.

For women, this is a frightening prospect, so many women will choose to walk around, or catch a bus, or find some other way to stay awake at night. They then sleep during the day...leading to them not being 'officially' classed as homeless.
As it's International Women's Day on Friday, does anyone want to comment about homelessness form a female perspective? Do you know much about women and homelessness? Is it something you have an opinion about?
Female
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire 5-Mar-2019 18:20 Message #4736497
How on earth would they know whether you are asleep or not?
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 5-Mar-2019 18:44 Message #4736498
I think its the same for a lot of homeless men too, beating up homeless people, peeing on them etc seems to be seen as a sport by some. People end up homeless for so many reasons, sadly there are more and more people who are homeless and are in work, with average rents in so many areas so high even people with good jobs and relatively high salaries are having trouble making ends meet. I was reading about a teacher today who lives in an affluent town not far out of London, she's a teacher on 27Kpa, when her rent went up she could no longer afford her home and as it was she was making do on about £50pw for her and her two kids. She reckons that if something dosen't change soon then there will be no teachers who can afford to live in the south east, unless they live with someoneon an equally "good" wage.

Sorry to have gone a bit off piste Terry.

Obviously women are more likely to be at risk of sexual violence and exploitation than men, but i'm fairly sure the majority of problems are the same for both sexes, although maybe the reasons for becoming homeless are different.
Male
terry  Male  West Yorkshire 5-Mar-2019 22:13 Message #4736504
To be honest minnie, though I have my ideas of how they decide it, I'm not all that sure, hence one of the reasons for this thread. Good question though.
No problem re: going off piste w/hen, the whole thing about women and homelessness touches on so many areas the lines are often blurred. You are right about many of the problems are faced regardless of gender, I just thought it worth asking the question because when many of us think of people on the streets we think of men. When you think of the physiological differences alone, women possibly have a more difficult time than men.
I don't know about areas other than here, but over the last two years I've seen more women on the streets both in daytime and night time so to hear about this verification requirement was a bit of a surprise.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 6-Mar-2019 11:37 Message #4736519
Domestic violence plays a part, with the closure of so many refuges and the pressure on ones that are still open some women will find they have nowhere else to go. Buildings can feel unbarably unsafe and claustrophobic when you've been kept in by an abuser, you'd think four walls and a roof would make you feel safe, but they also mean you have nowhere to run to and often you can feel like you need a lot of level running room.
Male
Otb  Male  Dorset 6-Mar-2019 16:57 Message #4736531
O.P.

Your comments regarding homelessness come across as little more than some kind of gossip someone may have whispered to you … and your comments regarding homeless women roaming the streets at night in order to bed down somewhere during the day is little short of bizarre.

Having made such a strange claim, you then pluck another sentence out of the air;

"For women, this is a frightening prospect, so many women will choose to walk around, or catch a bus, or find some other way to stay awake at night."

Were you told that as well OR did you surmise that second part?

Being officially verified as homeless, (these days), may vary from county to county and local authority to local authority, with, as far as my own understanding goes, local authorities no longer having any responsibility to house every homeless person.

The following may help you revise your thoughts on homelessness person status.

From Gov.uk website

Legally homeless

You may be legally homeless if:

you’ve no legal right to live in accommodation anywhere in the world
you can’t get into your home, for example your landlord has locked you out
it’s not reasonable to stay in your home, for example you’re at risk of violence or abuse
you’re forced to live apart from your family or people you normally live with because there’s no suitable accommodation for you
you’re living in very poor conditions such as overcrowding
If you’re legally homeless, your council must provide you with help – this could range from giving advice to arranging accommodation for you.
The amount of help they give you will depend on things like:
if you became homeless through no fault of your own
if you’re eligible for assistance
if you’re in priority need

and read this (Below) for further info. (Or seek similar info online).

https://www.compactlaw.co.uk/free-legal-information/public-housing/homeless-people.html
Male
Otb  Male  Dorset 6-Mar-2019 17:09 Message #4736533
I think it is questionable putting up such a serious topic in The Forum when, by your own admission, you have such a wooly, befuddled, confused understanding of the subject matter.

Asking others to enlighten you is one thing but confusing readers with 'here say' and making such bizarre claims hardly does the topic justice.

I'm not meaning to be unkind but … really?

Or maybe its me. Perhaps it is time for me to have one of my little breaks away from the site. :-)

(WE all need to from time to time)
Male
Otb  Male  Dorset 6-Mar-2019 17:09 Message #4736534
(We all need to from time to time).
Male
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 6-Mar-2019 21:47 Message #4736547
Bye Beach, enjoy your break.
Fosy is going to visit you.
Male
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 6-Mar-2019 21:49 Message #4736548
Bye Beach, enjoy your break.
Fosy is going to visit you.
Male
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 6-Mar-2019 22:15 Message #4736549
The vast majority of homeless people I've seen, have been male, in fact I don't think I've ever seen a homeless woman, not that I've looked that much...
Male
fosy  Male  Leicestershire 6-Mar-2019 22:16 Message #4736550
not necessarily, i,ll probably end up at the opposite end of the country after trying to read a 4ft x 4ft map at speed ;¬)
Male
warmundeft  Male  Wrexham 7-Mar-2019 10:22 Message #4736557
Eh up Beach ! Terry's OP is perhaps his way of starting to develop an interest in a particular topic.
Surely we all start on our own thought pathways in a similar manner regardless of our later achievements - as I am fairly confident you are aware.
And one of the ways of taking a subject further along the road of investigation is by communicating the idea with other people who, from experience, you believe might help you on your journey of discovery.

Providing that the distinction between 'facts' (quoting source), hearsay, supposition and deductions, is made quite clear, there is assuredly a place in the clarification process for wooly, befuddled, confused understanding - it seems probable that many ideas that later turn out to be fruitful are born into a fog of uncertainty - aren't yours ?
Anyway, the way I'm going here could qualify as a separate topic, so let me get back on track.

The observation, which seems to be commonplace, is that many more men than women appear on urban streets as homeless - defined in our perceptions by the fact that these people are stationary in public places, often accompanied by makeshift baggage and sometimes displaying features that lead to a deduction that substance abuse plays a part in the condition of these people. Public perception is frequently unfavourable. If you're seeking a way to end what is, at least a discomforting situation, then there is a need to identify the causes, and 'victim blaming' is often a starting point that is soon discarded.
So perhaps a detailed look at a wider slice of society would provide better insight - domestic abuse, for instance, is inflicted upon both (biological, not PC) genders and can take many forms.

The command: 'Women and children first', echoing down from the 'Titanic', the 'Birkenhead' and other maritime disasters, also features in the protocols followed by social workers, housing organisations and those who manage shelters for the homeless - and would society have it any other way ? There are those who, perhaps rightly, identify such discrimination as misandry, but I really do not believe that the 'gender war' needs any more ammunition added to it.
Once-upon-a-time, my duties as a relief caretaker in the library included encouragement of good behaviour among visitors, and in the course of talking with those whose only reason for being in the building was temporary warmth and dryness, it was told to me that a gender-based selection process was apparent in homeless shelters. But pertinent to terry's musings, in short, I formed the opinion that the women were more willing than men to accept the help available and offered in the fields of health-care, employment and social interaction.

Hope that helps.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 7-Mar-2019 10:56 Message #4736563
One town where I lived had a big purpose built shelter owned and run by a well known major charity, every morning the council, social services and others involved in helping the homeless would phone around all the shelters and find out how many beds were available that night and what would be open. The shelter run by this large well known charity would always say they were fully open, both mens and womens sides, the council and other agencies allocated spaces to people on what they'd been told. Only when homeless people began to arrive for the night they often found that only the mens side was open as staff hadn't turned up, it was always the mens side that was given priority never the womens. Because this shelter was so new, large and purpose built agencies would refer there first at the expense of smaller and older shelters, some of which were council run. I was working at another agency nothing to do with homelessness and we would women knocking on our door asking for help, just because we were about the only place open, we couldn't help them, we could give them addresses of other shelters, but often they were full, not suitable or shut because they'd not been allocated enough people for them to bother opening, some of these shelters then shut permanently. The actions of the big national charity became so notorious in the town and agency workers so frustrated at the attitude of those running this shelter that they pretty much stopped refering there at all and gave up totally on refering women.

Theres a good article in todays Guardian on homelessness in anyones interested in reading it. Its about how councils are prosecuting homeless people, fining them £100 for sleeping in shop doorways in town centres, the fine then goes up to 1k if its not payed plus a term in prison.

Male
fosy  Male  Leicestershire 7-Mar-2019 12:02 Message #4736566
"fining them £100 for sleeping in shop doorways in town centres, the fine then goes up to 1k if its not payed plus a term in prison. "

mmm...have they now found a way of getting blood out of a stone ?
and free b&b [i mean a term in prison] might be most welcome at certain times of the year...and as prisons are already overcrowded maybe they will have to sleep in the prisons doorways ?

what fecking idiots dream up these non starters ??
Female
twinkle2  Female  Hertfordshire 7-Mar-2019 17:52 Message #4736577
It's not quite that cut and dried Terry. I know of one family that us homeless but are sofa surfing. In this case the adult is deemed to have made themselves intentionally homeless so the council will not rehouse them.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 7-Mar-2019 18:41 Message #4736581
I know fosy its mad, but I guess prison comes out of the Home Office budget and not the councils.
Male
terry  Male  West Yorkshire 7-Mar-2019 21:55 Message #4736596
I didn't want to put my source because I thought people might get fed up with my constant allusions to charities/charitable causes...though that's probably more me thinking I do than actually do.
The source was a post on faecesbook from a local charity, Simon on the Streets, based in Leeds and Huddersfield. This week they are running a alternative campaign in support of International Women's Day - Simone on the Streets, which to me is a very worthwhile campaign considering just how little we know of women being homeless. Yes, many people fall through the statutory rules gap of homelessness by 'sofa surfing', they are nonetheless to all intents and purposes, homeless.
Whether people want to believe there are women homeless and on the streets is entirely up to them, whether people want to believe I have an unhealthy interest in women on the streets is entirely up to them. What has been heartening on this thread is the response of some who have shown an understanding and compassion for women in this predicament.

As an aside. When I first moved to Huddersfield I moored near a bridge close to the town centre (as close as could be considering where the canal runs). Whilst walking the dog one evening I noticed a blue plaque on the bridge, I forget the exact wording but it was akin to: 'Here was found the body of xxx, captain of the school hockey team and rough sleeper'
If I remember correctly her age was given as either 21 or 22, that really brought home to me the sheer wrongness and the sadness of not only anyone sleeping rough, but especially women.
When I have been homeless I've slept out of towns, away from people because the shame was too much, reading that plaque I thought of my daughter and how devastated I would be if she were in that position.
In summary...think whatever you like and look or ask for whatever proof or statistics you like. People shouldn't be statistics.
Male
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 8-Mar-2019 07:39 Message #4736603
"Whether people want to believe there are women homeless and on the streets is entirely up to them,"

I don't think it's a case of believing it or not - by the law of averages, of course there must be homeless women, in much the same way there must be male victims of domestic violence and rape. However, I don't think it's wrong to suggest that it is overwhelmingly men that end up on the streets. That is a view based purely on my personal observations.
I'm sure there are many reasons for that,
In a bad marriage/relationship it is more likely the man will leave the family home especially if there are kids involved.
Males are less likely to have many friends they can call on for help or who will offer them help.
Males are less likely to accept that help if it is offered, whether from friends or charities.

I know it's trendy to focus solely on the female aspect of everything these days, more so with today being International Women's Day, but personally I think it's the wrong approach...
Male
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 8-Mar-2019 08:50 Message #4736607
The homeless issue is obviously a very complex problem, whether for men or women.

I believe that there isn't a generic solution, as the situations vary so much. Why are they on the streets? There are many reasons.

So in my opinion, there are many categories of homeless. Even though they are all homeless. A person who has an argument with their family, and walks out, is in a different category to a total drug addict alcoholic psychopath, for instance. But they are both on the streets tonight.

Other people have already mentioned other issues, but there are too many for me to list them all in this post.

It can be a frightening experience for men and women.

There are certain ways to help out, but with a lot of caution, in my opinion. It can be an extremely dangerous minefield. And trying to do things like give them money is just fuelling a lot of their already terrible issues. Is a drug addict, for instance, going to use any money for a roof over their heads tonight? A very small chance perhaps, but i expect the money will be spent on something else.

I keep hearing about soup kitchens and things. I'm not sure what the set up is, but does it do anything to get people off the streets? Or are they generally just somewhere to get a bit of food, then off back to the streets again?

I am extremely thankful that I have had the upbringing that I have, and that I have until recently been able to work and pay my way, and have always had a roof over my head. It has been luck, but also a lot of work to keep it that way.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 8-Mar-2019 11:09 Message #4736618
If there are no shelter spaces or just more people in need of a bed than there are beds to around, then people will have no choice but to sleep on the streets, soup kitchens not only provide food but often a gateway into getting help and accessing services.

TW is absolutely right that there are many reasons for people being homeless, often circumstances just seem to cascade out of control and people end up on the streets, for others theres serious mental health problems. We used to have a young chap come in our shop quite regularly, he was homeless, ex military, was always clean in his clothing and person, would camp out with his tent cook himself food on a camping stove or wood fire. He had PTSD, he couldn't sleep in a building after seeing active service and coming under shell fire at night, providing someone like him with a bed in a shelter would be pointless, providing him with a safe place to set up camp, where he could access healthcare services and stuff like that would be better, for people like him the problem isn't that he's homeless, its the PTSD and the lack of understanding about it.
Male
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 8-Mar-2019 11:59 Message #4736622
I imagine the soup kitchens would be a gateway for the ones who are still in a certain amount of control of themselves. The ones who haven't been influenced by the hardened and wayward, and haven't spiralled into a dark dark place.

The 'person' I mentioned in the previous post, the one who argued with family and stubbornly walked out, could be a vulnerable teenager, hormones all over the place, or could be a bad influence themselves, starting out on the road to destruction. Some go from the beginning of the scale, to the far dark end, quite quickly.

As many as possible need help straight away, but will they always seek it, or take it if offered?
Male
warmundeft  Male  Wrexham 8-Mar-2019 12:11 Message #4736624
Please forgive me terry for temporarily diverting from 'women', but while it seems to me that reinforcement is not even necessary for contributors to your thread, 'hen's reference to ex-military and their too frequent situation, brings to mind something from one of my brothers, himself having a military background:

"PTSD: For those who understand, no explanation is necessary; for those who don't understand, no explanation is possible . . ."

My own belief, and I have only my own experience to back that (no medical qualifications bar those in First Aid), is that many of the symptoms that combine to lead to a diagnosis of PTSD can be observed in many 'rough sleepers', 'sofa-surfers' and 'street vagrants' - regardless of gender.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 10-Mar-2019 11:55 Message #4736713
Even if people have been influenced by those who are '...hardened and wayward..' do they not deserve a chance to be helped? Just because you're in a dark place dosen't mean that theres no way back from it, theres a couple of psychiatric conditions that are very common in teenagers and the crisis points in these can come very quickly, but they do resolve themselves to a point after a while.

Many people, especially teenagers will need help straight away and many do try and get help and the help isn't there or its not the right sort of help, treatment for mental health problems need to be as specific as those for physical health. To often people with mental health problems are offered the wrong sort of help, you wouldn't expect or accept having your leg put in plaster when you've got a chest infection, but often that what it feels like when you have a mental health problem. Then theres the problems with medication, psychiatric medications are pretty hardcore and the side effects can fel as bad as the condition you're taking them for, often a discussion about any side effects you're having is seen as you being difficult because of you're illness and theres an unwillingness to discuss alternative options.
Male
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 10-Mar-2019 12:22 Message #4736714
I've already said that there are many categories of homeless.

and there are many different issues within each category.

Of course people deserve a chance to be helped...but how many chances?

Too many times, in my opinion, people are given chance after chance after chance, and mess it all up each time. Of course there are often mental issues that might be the cause. And they should be given a chance of treatment etc, but often the same old stories, they continue to mess up, their care workers can't cope, the psychiatrists are at a loss, the Government don't care etc etc etc.

But one of the categories is people getting themselves into a homeless situation, spiralling out of control on their way. You see and hear of things like that all the time. Some can't hold down jobs, through their own fault and lazyness, and so nobody wants to employ them anymore, they turn to drink and drugs and then what? On the streets pretty quick.

Within that category, there are people who want help, 'and will take the help and get themselves back on track, but there are also ones who will continue their irresponsible ways. Some of these are so called 'normal' people, with no real mental health issues. But they are incapable of taking responsibility for their actions. How many chances should they be given? At the expense of people genuinely wanting help?

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