Homelessness and violence

Been seeing waaay to many posts like this from the bigger cities here in the US.


What do you think is the solution to this? Life is a REAL struggle these days especially for those who have already been struggling. Resorting to violence due to being mentally ill from having no shelter… I understand how it’s all happening but how do we solve it?

A few years ago I was at our local UK Tesco 7/11 (actually it opens at 6am and closes at 11pm). A local guy had walked in and ran out with a block of cheese, and the police had arrived. He was still hanging around outside the shop.

The cashier explained to me later that this guy was known to the local shop to be homeless. If it was particularly cold, he would attempt to steal something of low value and wait to be arrested in the hope of being able to spend the evening in a warm cell where he got a meal.

We (in so-called Developed Countries) have issues of gaps in care provision that do not seem to be solvable. The local guy was clearly either mentally challenged, or an alcoholic, or both. He has fallen down the cracks of social service provision, and the police are expected to take action against him. What are they going to do - take him to court and send him to jail? Unlike the USA, jails in the UK are not profit-making organisations that can make use of slave labour (as we in the West often accuse China of being), so these people are on a treadmill that keeps going round and round in circles. Charities and the care sector are overwhelmed with demand and seem not to have any capacity to cope. Local, regional and federal taxation cannot cope. Those who suffer are the least likely to be able to help themselves. A sad fact of our modern world. I used to work in central Manchester and take the train in to work 5 days per week. Walking from the train station to the office each morning, I met at least 20 homeless people sleeping in doorways in the freezing cold, infrequently visited by police or community carers. The situation did not improve over two years.

We each need to decide what we can and what we cannot do as individuals to help others less fortunate than ourselves. Nobody can fix everything, but most people can fix a few things. It is all about choice and understanding.

1 Like

The failure of the authorities to resolve the homeless issue means that I rarely go into the city centre where I live in the UK. And never after 5pm. I spend my money and leisure time in the smaller towns across the county where there is less anti-social street activity.

The authorities failure also encourages people with accommodation who simply enjoy the company of their friends on the street, some of them also enjoying the benefits derived from begging.


What do you think can we do as individuals?

1 Like

What are the benefits derived from begging? :flushed:

1 Like

For over 20 years we have allocated a portion of our income after tax to charitable causes. I asked my wife to choose which ones. she supports two orphanages in Syria for children who have lost their parents in the war of the past decade. She has supported one of them for over 30 years. Like anything you plan, you don’t have to decide “how much to allocate”. You decide that at the beginning of your plans, and stick to it. If you make losses, it’s hard to lower contributions to something you have committed to.

So we don’t exactly calculate this stuff to the penny, but here are our 30 year guidelines we try to stick to:.

Gross income after taxes 100%
Mandatory costs 40%
Discretionary costs 30%
Reinvestments 20%
“Other, including charity” 10%

Almost everyone I talk to about this (and that is well over 100 people) say it is impossible. For anyone physically and mentally capable of holding down a full time job in a developed country, I maintain that it is indeed possible. It is not easy, but it is possible. I say this from experience. I have mentored over 20 individuals, and this is the starting point of all discussions about “investment”. The best investment you will ever make in life is the stuff you DON’T buy. Just open your wardrobe and take out anything you have not worn for a year. Put it away in a box, take it out next year. If you have still not worn it, send it to the charity shop or throw it away. Look at your desk. Is it always tidy or always messy. One Saturday, get up an hour earlier than normal. Take everything off your desk and find a place to store it (preferably in the top desk drawer if it is temporary. If you cant find a space for it, put it in a box. Keep it till next Saturday. Get up an hour early the next week, and start tidying out drawers in your office, kitchen, living room, whatever. Throw stuff away until there is enough space to put all the junk on your desk out of sight.

1 Like

I have spoken to buskers and beggars in the streets of London, Manchester and our local town. I normally kick off a conversation by asking how they feel, do they want a cup of coffee or a meal. Some sell The Big Issue (https://www.bigissue.com/), others play instruments or sing, some just sit there with a bowl in front of them.

It is my understanding that a professional busker can earn about £80 a day in the London suburbs on high footfall thoroughfares. I am also reliably informed in Manchester City Centre that £40 to £60 is a reasonable estimate of gross income before costs (food, drink). I think that is what tommor meant by benefits derived from begging.

Given that an adult in the UK can earn about £1,000 per month before paying any income tax, it does make me wonder why we just don’t give every adult over 18 years of age a £1,000 sum every month, regardless of their employment status, and start income tax at the first £1 that anyone earns from a “job”. That makes about 500,000 extra people available to work instead of just bean counting how much all other citizens should be receiving in benefits. That is an annual saving of about 500,000 x £12,000 = £6 billion per year, assuming those paid by the government to count and collect taxes from all others just collect their own Universal Income and don’t work again. If they work in productive jobs, each £1 they earn above the basic £12,000 per year could be taxed at about 50% so the net burden on universal income payments is less, not more.

1 Like

Free money, plus occasional hot drinks and food from passers-by. Also food and clothing from charities who work with the homeless.

You must understand that in the UK not all beggars on the street are homeless. They have homes and beg for money because they want more money.

1 Like

I’ve been seeing a few of thiose as well @ponponwei - Excellent topic btw (one of my pet hates about Babypips is that you can only see “Stuff” posted in the last few hours ! and I’ve only just come across this thread !)

As I understand the problem in USA - it stems from the fact that only thefts over around $900 count as “crimes” - so shoplifting goes completely unpunished. ! - I also saw a similar “report” which saoid the only items not “Locked away” were Sanitary Towels and similar products (Hardly worth stealing ? )

However like @Mondeoman and @tommor - I am in the uk and we have different versions of the problems - which also link to a thread I made some time ago - but the numbers have now changed from 12 to 13 I believe

Again Here in the UK - H,meless men cannot access State Benefits because they have “No fixed abode” - Homeless women - will be housed by Local Councils immediately and therefore access Benefits with minimum inconvenience - so they can then get work if tehy want to whereas the same u=issue of “no fixed abode” prevents men from working ! - Almost ALL truly homeless people in UK are men. And there is NO Recognised method of escaping this trap !

Many of us up until a couple of years ago knew where a “tramp” “Lived” on a semi-permanent basis - but Govt pressure on Local Authorities have meant these poor guys have been “Moved on” and many have simply “died”.

I have an “In-Law” Relative who boasts that he went and set fire to a Tramp’s HOME" with a bucket of petrol - simnply because he (the Tramp) - “Lived tehre” and somehow offended this obnoxious man - by just existing !

When I left School 50 odd years ago - a lad in my year and two of his “mates” were sentenced for Murdering a “tramp” - who (we all knew) lived under a low bridge to escape the rain. They just went and kicked him to death “For a laugh” in the middle of the night.

Personally I think @tommor 's picture of “Beggars in luxury” - is an Urban Myth - rather than a reality.

[I would point out however that if I were to be “Homeless” - California USA is a far more tempting location than Newcastle (uk) ]

"Ballad of Ira Hayes - Johnny Cash 1964 - YouTube

Who’s this

WE ?

What if I don’t want you to take £12,000 a year off me to pay for some random punter and another £12,000 to pay for myself ?

By the time our “Civil Servants” have run their filthy little fingers through my £24 k - and had their PENNORTH" - We’m gotta be looking at £40,000 per year extra tax for every real worker !


does @tommor with his grubby little gold plated Quango pension on top of his “State Pension” - Still get this £12,000 as well ? :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

{Who is John Galt ?}

We - means - an elected government that would treat universal income as it it named - i.e., universal. Of course everyone would get the £12K. That is what a universal income means. I’m not proposing that anyone takes £12,000 off you. That is the point. You get £12K coz you are an adult. So does your wife, so does any other adult over 18 years who happens to live in your home. When I piloted robotic process robots in a commercial global company 2 years ago I challenged why these “robots” were required to have a date of birth, date of hire and unique identifier. It dawned on me that our future taxation system will over-tax companies for each and every robot that replaces a human being’s job, and those human beings would then choose whether to do nothing, or do something. Some would choose to do nothing but there is only a certain amount of “doing nothing” a human can tolerate before they go brain dead. So what is it going to be when there is 25%+ unemployment? Civil war, or universal benefits? You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how it is going to turn out.

You can think what you like, thoughts are just opinions if they are without facts. And there’s a thin line between an opinion and pathological bias or delusion.

OOPS ! :face_with_monocle: - Sorry if I poked a tender spot Tom ! I can be a bit “Autistic” sometimes in my communications style :rofl: No particular offence meant mate :sunglasses:

1 Like

I think if you made Internet cafes complimentary you could have a number of these people making money online in no time with the opportunities available now. Plus as is the issue in many case it solves the problem of needing a permanent address to get work.

1 Like

So lets chuck a few numbers up

Uk pop c 80 mill - say 60 mill “Adult”
Pay each one £12 = £720,000,000
Pay each one £12,000 = £720, 000.000.000
That’s £720 Billion - each year. = 3/4 Trillion every year !
UK National debt (2020) = £2.2 Trillion
UK GDP = c £2 Trillion per year
So everything we make or “Do” - by way of work = all adds up to c£2 Trillion and we pay ourselves c£2Trillion for doing it.

So take year 1 of your “UBI”
Everything we do or make adds up to £2 Trillion - But now we pay ourselves £2.72 Trillion for doing it !
Result ?
Can you explain how we are to Make or “Do” more (with examples perhaps) to add up to that £2.72 Trillion ? - I can of course :wink:

[ EDIT -

"Brass Starring Timothy West and Barbara Ewing series 1 ep10 - YouTube


Yup. If I have not found use for anything in over a year, that means I can live without it.

Definitely has to be prioritized.

Sooo… they go home to actual comfortable homes???

Omg that is horrible!

Here we’re starting to see that too at least in places in NYC where crimes made by the homeless is increasing. Some vigilantes are starting to hurt homeless people in retaliation perhaps? All senseless.

I met a guy who was once homeless and he talked to me about how it was like being on the streets with no bed to sleep in or a home to return to. It was so heartbreaking to think that after a long day’s work, you stay in your car to sleep… if you even have one… You shower at a local YMCA, do your stuff in public places… So difficult for me to imagine.

I don’t think they live in luxury but they do not live overnight on the street. A few years back, several genuine charitable organisations in a town a few miles from where I live took a really good look over the details of street beggars in their area - of the initial group of 17 “homeless” people, they found that only 2 were homeless. And these were charities, not political organisations - charities that were set up to help the genuinely homeless.

In our major cities the media have long been reporting that networks of beggars are usually Roma people from Romania. They have homes in Romania and they have temporary accommodation here too but they beg on UK streets for charity because its more profitable.

even though the housing situation is dire in the uk at the moment ,most homeless people are addicted to alcohol or drugs.The stresses of coping with everyday issues, are too much for some people ,its a “release” been on the streets…Beggars/shop lifters are a different problem .

i dont watch much TV but i watched a program on Sunday about Slab City situated in the Sonaron Desert California it was quite compelling

It’s strange where I live. The “homeless” seem to appear in teams, in the same intersections of town, for a couple of days and then theyy disappear… Usually with no belongings. The issue got so bad the county here decided to put up signs in those intersections telling motorists NOT to give to the beggars, but instead tell them to read the sign, which provides contact information for homeless services/assistance. Yet, month after month, almost on a schedule, they return, to the same spots. Then they disappear. And then reappear at several intersection in the same general vicinity. Makes me think they are more likely not homeless and just panhandling.

1 Like