October 6, 2016 at 10:33 pm #120456
If you wish to be a better member of society Woodbine perhaps YOU yourself should collect the needles, bottles, cans, dirty clothes & clean up the excrement & vomit left by these poor souls, instead of or as well as buying them toiletries.. That way you would benefit the whole of society not just one part of it.October 7, 2016 at 10:15 am #120470
I have worked very closely with some of these people, and been involved in doing some of the unpleasant tasks you mention – please don’t make assumptions.
My point is that if, as a society, we provided proper mental health care and housing this problem would be greatly reduced which, I agree, would benefit the whole of society. I agree that the results of homelessness and mental illness are unpleasant, to say the least, for those affected both by being in these difficult situations and having to clean up after them.However, the assumption that the people you are talking about choose to be homeless, enjoy being addicted to drugs, choose to become depressed couldn’t, at least in most cases, be more wrong.
It should be obvious, too, that providing more public toilets and enough night shelters where people can access toilets and showers would mean less excrement, etc, to pick up! If you were out on a freezing cold night, needed the loo, but found all toilets locked and no space in the night shelter, what would you do?
Sure, as in all sectors of society, some don’t care what mess they leave behind for others – flytippers for example – and there is no excuse in those cases. But sometimes people have no choice because they have lost all rights and power to change their lives, and we need to give them that dignity back. (While, of course, making it clear to those who are have no wish to change their unacceptable behavior – whoever they are – what can and can’t be tolerated for the sake of society as a whole.)October 8, 2016 at 8:11 pm #120537
I lived in social housing. 3 years ago drug addicts and their friends were living in flats near mine. I lived in a small block, but in a cul-de-sac which housed mainly families with young children. One drug addict lived just outside my block; another lived in a flat above mine.
These people and their visitors were routinely loud and intimidating at any time of day or night. They would shout and fight and punch walls and threaten people. They would knock on ground floor windows to try to gain entry to the block. They would climb into the communal bins to search for items (presumably to sell), and leave rubbish all over the place. On one occasion the bins were not emptied because the rubbish strewn over the ground prevented them from being wheeled to the bin lorry. I ended up tidying up the rubbish so that the bin men would return to collect it – I came across a needle while doing this, which shocked me because it hadn’t even occurred to me that I might find such a thing.
The police were regular visitors to these people too.
An elderly man living opposite me on the ground floor moved into residential care – giving up his independence because he no longer felt safe in his home. A woman upstairs moved in with her parents because she was afraid of the addict living opposite her. I did not have anywhere to move to. My GP signed me off sick from work with the stress of it all.
When I complained to the housing association, they said I was the 13th person to report it. But still the behaviour continued. The man from outside the block was due to be evicted but got a last minute reprieve from the court. The addict upstairs was sent to prison for threatening someone. After several months, the housing association found a tenant prepared to move into our ‘druggy’ block, taking over the elderly man’s flat. The new tenant turned out to be a heavy cannabis smoker and the smell got into everyone’s flats. The addict upstairs returned from prison and resumed his previous behaviour.
The addict in the flat outside the block was eventually evicted. 9 months after I first complained I was finally moved by the housing association. The woman from upstairs also eventually got a move. It was another 18 months before the addict upstairs was evicted. The weed smoker still lives there.
I am so weary of hearing these excuses. Just because they are addicts does not necessarily mean that they all have mental health issues; and there are a great many people with serious mental health issues who do not become addicts or behave in this manner. It is one thing to volunteer to help addicts and decide how much time you spend with them and what sort of help you can give – it is quite another when the worst of their behaviour is imposed upon you constantly, when you have to move home to escape it.
The people I describe already had decent housing (paid for by housing benefit – even while in prison) and were given chance after chance to change their behaviour. They could have continued being addicts and kept their homes if they had shown some consideration towards their neighbours. It infuriates me that drug addicts like this are described as vulnerable and in need of help and sympathy – in fact it is the rest of us who are made vulnerable by their behaviour and we are the ones who need help when we are on the receiving end. I don’t know what the ‘homeless’ charities claim to be doing to help these people, but I would question whether they really are helping them or ‘enabling’ their addictions. These addicts may not have homes, toilets, showers – or dignity – but if they are capable of putting in enough effort to obtain free and clean needles to use, then surely they could put similar effort into disposing of these needles responsibly.October 8, 2016 at 9:10 pm #120538
I take my hat off to you Bubble. That is the best and most heartfelt post I have ever read on this forum and I hope all is well for your future.October 8, 2016 at 9:45 pm #120539
Hear, hear!!!October 9, 2016 at 9:00 am #120543
And again hear hear, sums it up as it is, without all the PC crap and this is almost certainly what what most people think.
The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.October 9, 2016 at 9:16 am #120545
I totally agree with the above posts, Bubble you’ve hit the nail squarely on the noggin.
It’s fine to Champion this scum from an arms length, but nobody should have to go home to fear and intimidation.
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