[Hpn] RE: SHELTERS UNPOPULAR with many homeless people. Why? Your solut ions?

Wilkinson,MH (pgr) M.H.Wilkinson@lse.ac.uk
Tue, 14 Nov 2000 09:56:43 +0000

In England, there is evidence that a number of homeless people would prefer
to sleep rough than live in a hostel.  Especially the long term homeless.

There are a number of reasons and the reasons vary from person to person: -
*	People want to stay with thier friends, and stay up late drinking
and talking.
*	Many hostels are 'dry hostels' - no alcohol on the premisis and no
one who is very drunk.  This means that if you are an alcoholic, you would
don't want to last from 7.30pm to 7.30am without drinking.
*	In the summer its cheaper to sleep rough than pay the hostel fees.
*	Some hostels have very poor standards indeed, people feel it is
almost cleaner to sleep rough.
*	Some hostels can be very intimidating, either because of the type of
resident they attract or because their layout or staffing.  Some people feel
it is safer to sleep on the streets.  At least in a door way you are
protected on three sides, you just have to watch the fourth.  Or you can
sleep in the same door way or car park with people you trust.
*	A lot of homeless people have dogs, very few hostels in england
allow clients and their pets to stay.

The cold weather shelters and Christmas shelters in England (especially
London) have a much better record.  But they have far less rules.  People
sleep in big rooms on mattresses on the floors, but can drink in some
shelters and they can take their dogs to other shelters.

Megan Ravenhill

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Tom Boland [SMTP:wgcp@earthlink.net]
> Sent:	Monday, November 13, 2000 12:33 AM
> To:	HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK list; NA Street Newspaper Association
> list; homeless@csf.colorado.edu; Food Not Bombs list; Rainbow Family list
> Cc:	National Coalition for the Homeless; Ted Hayes; Homeless United for
> Friendship & Freedom; KWRU@libertynet.org
> Subject:	SHELTERS UNPOPULAR with many homeless people. Why? Your
> solutions?
> CC REPLIES please TO: "Homeless People's Network"
> Why are SHELTERS UNPOPULAR with many homeless people?
> Is the "problem" with shelters? With homeless people?  With both?
> How do you know for sure?  Is your evidence anecdotal?
> Have any STUDIES been done where you live on why homeless people avoid
> shelters?
> What "reasons" did _homeless people_ give for avoiding shelters?
> How could "services for homeless people" become more sensitive to
> "homeless people's preferences"?  (That's my _key_ question.)
> even in cold, snowy weather, according to statistics cited in the article
> below:
> http://www.sltrib.com/11112000/utah/42364.htm
> FWD  Salt Lake Tribune - Saturday, November 11, 2000
>      Frank Curreri - The Salt Lake Tribune
> People living on the streets of Salt Lake City are not yet clamoring to
> get
> into homeless shelters despite the week's snow and subfreezing
> temperatures.
> Up to 6 inches of snow fell in the Salt Lake Valley on Thursday and
> temperatures reached a chilling low of 28 degrees early Friday morning,
> according to the National Weather Service. But of the 2,000 to 3,000
> homeless people in the Salt Lake area, only about 555 sought beds at
> shelters, said Pamela Atkinson, vice president of Mission Services, a
> local
> group that helps impoverished people.
> That left at least 320 beds unclaimed at shelters in Salt Lake City and
> Midvale.
> Atkinson said she had expected more homeless people to flock to the
> shelters, but "a lot of the men just told me they were going to continue
> to
> camp out because they like their freedom."
> Many have stayed away so they could arrive early to stand in line at a
> temporary job placement agency, Atkinson said. Lines sometimes begin
> forming around  5 a.m., and those in the front often stand a better chance
> of getting work. Several agencies have handed out warm clothing, blankets
> and sleeping bags to many homeless people who are braving the cold, she
> said.
> However, Atkinson said many homeless men who skipped the shelter have told
> her that if it gets much colder, they may come in.
> A more intense cold front and significant snowfall could engulf the
> Wasatch
> Front by Tuesday or Wednesday, bringing temperatures in the mid-teens, the
> National Weather Service reported.
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