Daily Mail

Being homeless is NOT a choice


wHY does Home Secretary Suella Braverman consistent­ly target those less fortunate than herself?

She has now turned her ire on homeless people who, instead of sleeping totally rough, are using tents. Sleeping in doorways is one thing, but perhaps the spectacle of tidy tents on the streets is an even more prominent illustrati­on of the pathetic paucity of Government policy on this issue. The Home Secretary believes this is a ‘lifestyle choice’. what rubbish. She needs to understand that the dividing line between having everything and having nothing is very fine indeed. I have worked with individual­s who, through no fault of their own, lost their jobs, their homes and their relationsh­ips, propelling them into a rapid downward spiral. Through being very ill some 18 years ago, I almost lost my home, too; there was a problem with my salary which meant mortgage payments were missed. I was a whisker away from losing the place I lived in and my possession­s and ending up in a hostel. Perhaps Ms Braverman needs to spend some time on the streets with those who help the homeless, or even sleep rough herself for a few nights. Then, armed with a better understand­ing, there is a slim chance she might avoid making ill-judged vote-catching remarks and show more compassion. I suspect she would remain more Cruella than Suella, though.

graHam day, stowmarket, suffolk. IT SEEMS the only growth areas under the Tories since 2010 have been in food banks and homeless on the streets. And Suella Braverman attacks them for sleeping in tents.

e. c. Hersey, ormskirk, lancs.

THOSE lines of tents and supermarke­t trolleys are a necessity, not a life choice. I’ve been there, back in the 1960s, and it wasn’t fun.

In those days there were no tent handouts, no sleeping bags and few soup kitchens. You couldn’t sit outside a supermarke­t with a plastic cup, and there was no Big Issue; you had to find casual work washing dishes or helping in markets. Luckily, there were public toilets where you could have a wash, but now even they have gone.

Your world was a cardboard box, with newspapers stuffed inside your clothes for warmth. If you were really lucky, you could find a spot in a car park that was near a restaurant. Homelessne­ss is not a life choice and the problem is getting worse with no social housing, no protection of tenure and no rent controls. Handing out tents is a great idea. So-called social housing isn’t a solution if people can’t afford the houses, so if we don’t want cardboard cities, we need houses for all.

S.T. VAUGHAN, birmingham. WITH Christmas fast approachin­g, advertisem­ents for helping homeless people are again on our TV screens. Illegal migrants are entitled to accommodat­ion as soon as they land in the UK, while our own homeless have no such option. what’s the difference, though? Parliament must make whatever legal changes are necessary to eliminate this obscenity and ensure our homeless people have the same rights as migrants. Merry Christmas to all those on the streets. I hope this letter pricks the conscience­s of those who can, should and must make a difference. James Wignall, accrington, lancs.

 ?? ?? Sorry sight: A line of tents occupied by the homeless in Central London
Sorry sight: A line of tents occupied by the homeless in Central London

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