Street deaths: Growing crisis on UK streets as rough sleeper numbers soar

Tony Gosling tony at
Mon Dec 5 13:09:36 GMT 2016



Police were called to a car park entrance on 
Wednesday night after a local drinking in the nearby boozer discovered the man


Video thumbnail, Tragic last moments of homeless man who died i

The body of a 
man was found tragically ‘frozen to death’ in 
Birmingham’s city centre on the coldest night of the year.

Police were called to a car park entrance in 
Station Road at 11.30pm Wednesday after a local 
drinking in the nearby boozer discovered the man.

It’s understood the body, found opposite the 
Victoria pub in John Bright Street, is that of a 
30-year-old male of no fixed address.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Midlands Police have said they do not believe the 
circumstances to be suspicious but it was 
suggested the man’s death was connected to drugs, 
according to 
Mail .

Last night saw Britain hit with the lowest 
November temperatures in six years, as temperatures plunged to -6C.

There has been a huge outpouring of emotion from 
Birmingham residents following the discovery of the body.

Hundreds of Birmingham Mail readers left comments 
on the 
page, with many telling of their ‘heartbreak’ at 
what appears to be a growing homelessness problem.

Leah Martin said: “It’s ridiculous how many more 
men and women have to die for something to be done.”

Laurence Mahony said: “Disgusting in this day and 
age NOONE should be homeless. NOONE. We are a 
rich country who don’t do enough for our 
citizens. Councils and Government should hold their head down in shame.”

The man’s body was found hours before shocking 
new figures revealed 
10,000 people were homeless in Birmingham .

Growing crisis on UK streets as rough sleeper numbers soar
Charities raise concerns for homeless people over 
recent deaths and falling temperatures
Jason Nash looks for buildings where he can sleep at night.
  Jason Nash looks for buildings where he can 
sleep at night. Photograph: Andy Hall for the Observer

<>Tracy McVeigh

Sunday 4 December 2016 00.05 GMT

Jason Nash wears all three of his jackets and 
both his pairs of jeans at the same time. His 
sleeping bag doesn’t look like it has the 
greatest filling but he tries to get inside the 
stairwell of a block of flats to sleep when he 
can so at least he doesn’t get wet if it rains overnight.

Now 26, Nash has had only sporadic periods of 
living under a roof since he left care. He has a 
heroin and crack problem which costs him around 
£60 a day. “When I’m off my nut I can sleep. I 
don’t think you can live on the streets sober. It’s cold,” he says.

Nash is one of the rapidly growing number of 
people sleeping rough on Britain’s streets. With 
some of the harshest weather of the winter still 
to come, charities and local authorities say this 
rapid rise is extremely concerning.

Three homeless people have died in the last 10 
days – two men died in a fire at a derelict 
building in Manchester and last Tuesday a 
30-year-old man died in his sleeping bag in a 
Birmingham car park. There have been “tent city” 
protests in Leeds, Manchester and Hull over the 
past few weeks, with homeless people 
demonstrating against what they see as local authority inaction on the issue.

The annual count, carried out by 44 English 
authorities and estimated by the other 282, 
finished last week. Sources at three cities told 
the Observer their figures, which are yet to be 
officially released, were double last year’s number.

Charities say the counts only pick up the most 
visible – those sleeping in shop doorways, for 
example – and miss the majority hidden in 
derelict buildings or other makeshift shelters. 
Official government figures for the 2015 count 
were 3,569 people rough sleeping in England on a 
single night, up 102% from 2010. In Scotland the 
closest statistic is that 1,787 people slept 
rough the night before submitting a homelessness 
application in 2014. But those figures contrast 
with those from charity outreach workers who 
reported seeing 8,000 people on the streets in London alone last year.

Howard Sinclair, chief executive of homelessness 
charity St Mungo’s, says the true figure is 10 
times that. “Rough sleeping is increasing 
year-on-year – and so are the needs of those 
people, the complex issues, the range of 
problems,” he says. “The degree of need, is much, 
much higher than it was even three years ago.”

The housing crisis, the reduction of benefits – 
especially to younger people – and austerity cuts 
hitting local councils, charities and mental 
health services are creating the “perfect storm” 
in human misery, says Sinclair.

“With all of this the numbers can only worsen, 
the housing crisis is not just about house prices 
and the shortage of social housing, but problems 
with private landlords. That’s the area we’re 
really seeing a rise in, people ending up on the 
streets after tenancy breakdowns.

“What you see is that strata of people who really 
have nothing – no money, no front door key, no 
friend or family. That number is growing. And you 
can’t just pin it all on local authorities, the 
health service is failing people too – 90% of 
rough sleepers are discharged from hospitals back on to the streets.”
The number of rough sleepers has more than doubled since 2010.
  The number of rough sleepers has more than doubled since 2010.
Photograph: Fabio De Paola for the Observer

Darren is in his late 30s. In April he was living 
in Camden, north London. He lost his job in 
healthcare, could not meet his rent, was evicted 
and ended up sleeping on the streets. All within 
a period of four weeks. “It was really scary. I 
had a normal life, I always had a job, then I 
wasn’t able to eat,” he says. “I went to the 
council when I still had a roof over my head and 
they took all my details and told me they’d write 
to me, but before they did I had no address any 
more, I was homeless. I went to their offices but 
you’re not a high priority and I didn’t know 
where else to go for help. When you’re homeless 
you can’t have a search on the internet to look 
for help, you can’t look for a job.”

He slept rough for two months before being picked 
up by an outreach team from St Mungo’s and given 
temporary accommodation. “I’m one of the lucky 
ones, you hear the stories of violence and abuse, its so dangerous out there.”

Dave Smith of the UK-wide No Accommodation 
(Naccom) network of groups helping destitute 
refugees and asylum seekers, said homelessness 
was now no longer confined just to bigger cities. 
“Homelessness is getting worse and rough sleeping 
is rising everywhere. Places like Burnley, 
Preston and Skelmersdale now have destitute 
people on their streets. We are really only 
seeing a tiny proportion of the problem as most 
aren’t sleeping in doorways but hiding away. 
Especially with people of colour like asylum 
seekers – they know their colour makes them much more vulnerable to attack.”

For Nash, violence is part of his life. “You get 
a kick or a thumping every week or so,” he says. 
He has been in and out of prison and sleeping 
rough since he left the care system. “I was a 
troubled teen. My dad and step-mum had six kids 
and all of us went into care,” he says. “I 
haven’t seen my dad for years, when I did he’d 
promise me the world. I haven’t seen my mum since 
I was two, I don’t know if she’s dead, I think she is.

“I tried to kill myself once, but the doctor gave 
me some tablets for the depression. He’s a good bloke.”
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So much emphasis is placed on select Jewish participation in Bormann 
companies that when Adolf Eichmann was seized and taken to Tel Aviv 
to stand trial, it produced a shock wave in the Jewish and German 
communities of Buenos Aires. Jewish leaders informed the Israeli 
authorities in no uncertain terms that this must never happen again 
because a repetition would permanently rupture relations with the 
Germans of Latin America, as well as with the Bormann organization, 
and cut off the flow of Jewish money to Israel. It never happened 
again, and the pursuit of Bormann quieted down at the request of 
these Jewish leaders. He is residing in an Argentinian safe haven, 
protected by the most efficient German infrastructure in history as 
well as by all those whose prosperity depends on his well-being.
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