Above: front page of the "Bournemouth Echo" Friday 17 Feb. 2017
Threatened with eviction from his tent: the homeless man living in the doorway of empty Burger King
A HOMELESS man has been threatened with eviction from his tent after he pitched it in an empty doorway in Poole.
The notice was put on the red tent, at the entrance of Burger King in the High Street, at some point on Wednesday.
The incident has sparked outrage with some residents who said more should be done to help the homeless rather than admonish them.
Beautician Angie Mulvey, 56, told the Daily Echo she saw the tent with her son, student Levi Bright.
She said she was “quite disgusted” by the eviction notice.
“I have spoken to the man in the tent,” she said. “He said he was really upset. He said he was told if he doesn’t move it they’re going to fine him £50 and cut up his tent.
“I know it’s not the best place to put up a tent but homeless people are homeless. They should be helped. There is a shortage of housing in Poole and we know this. I thought it was quite sad and quite ridiculous to put an eviction notice on a tent.”
Her son added: “It’s shameful. The amount of money that it could cost the taxpayer to punish that man could be used to find him shelter. It just seems people have stopped caring. It’s just shocking.”
A market stall holder named Richard said the man in the doorway is seldom alone.
“Since Burger King closed down there have been homeless people there,” he said. “Some people would say it’s not good for tourism. At the end of the day it’s not their fault they are in that position. But in general it doesn’t give a good impression of the town.
“The council have got to do something. If everyone set up tents in the High Street what would happen? At the same time we have got to set the standard.”
Passer-by Stan Patterson added: “I understand why the tent is here, everyone wants to stay warm. But homelessness downgrades Poole. I hear comments from tourists saying it’s not a nice place to come to. I don’t think the main High Street is a place for them to be.”
A Borough of Poole spokesman said: “We are working with the individual concerned to help them move into more permanent accommodation.”
TARGETING THE HOMELESS: MILTON KEYNES OUTRAGE + BOURNEMOUTH BAGPIPE MONSTROSITY + SUSSEX POLICE ATROCITY + more
The meeting’s aim was to discuss the ‘One Stop Shop’ for homeless people proposed in Milton Keynes Councils 2016/17 and future plan.
Read more: Milton Keynes homeless: 3 ways Milton Keynes Council aim to tackle crisis
Although many residents and councillors support the plans, there were some concerns raised, which you can read more of in this week’s OneMK newspaper.
The issue surrounding the tents was highlight by Helen Wilson from the MK Green Party.
She said: “I am really concerned of the waste of resources, giving people tents and then the Council coming a long and clearing them away.
“This money spent on tents by organisations and charities could be going on a night shelter.
“The Council have even put eviction notices on tents, and often homeless people have not only lost all their possessions that were inside but also lost family photos when they were cleared away.”
Residents and councillors added to the outrage of this, with Councillor Alice Jenkins, from the Danesborough and Walton ward, giving an emotional comment that: “If the Council can spend £2.5million on air conditioning they can find money to help the homelessness
“I am shocked and disgusted that eviction notices are going on tents.”
See more: Milton Keynes Council to splash up to £2.5 million on new air cooling system for Civic Offices
For many shocked councillors this was the first they had heard of this action, and in response Duncan Sharkey, corporate director at the Council, said:
“We are trying to balance out the needs of a wider community. If we let people stay in tents we get complaints from many other people.
“Where we get complaints you can make your own valued judgement, but we have to make decisions when people disagree, there are people who think people living in a tent near them is a problem.
“And we are trying to extend the offer we have got.
“We don’t disagree that facilities aren’t good enough.”
Despite some fierce debates throughout the evening, what everyone did agree on was that there is not one solution and a lot needs to me done now, before this Winter claims more lives, and we need more action than discussion in Milton Keynes.
Read more in OneMK’s newspaper this Wednesday (July 20) and share your views in a comment below.
SIGN THE PETITION: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/takeaction/576/913/589/
Ray Pape, a defence lawyer who works with homeless people, has seen a rise in the number of clients prosecuted for begging.
He said: “It is difficult to see why it is in the public interest … I am not talking about aggressive begging or harassment but situations where people have asked for a few pence … Is this a good use of public money?”
Many of the rough sleepers who risk begging are particularly vulnerable and desperate. Some are struggling with addiction, a problem which requires understanding and support. Arrests and unaffordable fines are not a compassionate or effective response.
Please sign this petition and demand that Sussex Police stop arresting rough sleepers. It’s time to stop the cycle of poverty and fines, and find more appropriate ways to respond to the issues facing local homeless people.
Update #13 months ago
SIGN THE PETITION:
BOURNEMOUTH STATION BAGPIPE MUSIC UPDATE 21 JAN: video – 10 Jan: FACING THE MUSIC – COMPLAINTS TO COUNCIL MEAN NOTHING REGARDING THE BOURNEMOUTH STATION HOMELESS – “HOPE FOR FOOD” CHARITY INTERVIEW January 23, 2016
UPDATE 21 January 2016 @ 5.30am – video: the bagpipe music plays at Bournemouth train + coach concourse:
So much for listening to the thousands of complaints about bombarding the homeless in Bournemouth with loud music all night to put them off attempting to sleep in public places – at the local train station, and covered car parks, etc. Many sites where the homeless sleep at night are bombarded sound-wise from midnight onwards by extremely loud music, courtesy of the local council, to deter the homeless from sleeping at the locations. At the beginning of December 2015 there was a news piece about this at the local train station where the homeless would gather at night –
“BOURNEMOUTH, UK: “BAGPIPE MUSIC” USED TO DRIVE AWAY HOMELESS FROM TRAVEL INTERCHANGE!!”
Nevertheless the extra loud music continues to be played all night at the railway station and at other sites to deter homeless sleepers from congregating. Hardly any accomodation is offered to these people – just loud music. I’m told one has to be homeless for 28 days before one is eligible for the sparse housing from the council, and then the wait for that accomodation is at least 4 months minimum.
“Oxford City Council ‘criminalising homelessness’” 13 April 2015
3 Dec. 2015:
“4000 TELL COUNCIL: “STOP USING BAGPIPE MUSIC TO DRIVE AWAY HOMELESS”
The authority has deployed the tactic of playing loud music at the Travel Interchange in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour.
This strategy was adopted after reports that commuters felt intimidated by the growing number of homeless people drinking there and using it as a place to sleep at night.
But protestor Carla Johnson, who has recently moved away from the town to Essex, has launched a petition against the scheme, claiming it “goes against the morals of the majority of Bournemouth residents”.
“At a time of year when the weather is becoming increasingly cold and wet Bournemouth council should be finding a solution to help the homeless in our town, not to drive them away,” she said.
“Playing loud music at the interchange is in no way a solution as it will simply move the homeless people on to another area in the town.”
She added: “By offering no support, I believe the issues the council have with the homeless will only worsen.
“These people need our support, and not to be treated like wild animals, driven out of one area to the next.” Ms Johnson told the Daily Echo she plans to send the petition, which as of Friday evening had accumulated 3,804 supporters, to the council.
“I understand why the council has decided to do this in terms of giving the right impression to tourists,” she said. “But the people of Bournemouth are friendly people and this goes against their nature – nobody chooses to be homeless and we should be looking at different ways to help.”
A Bournemouth council spokesperson said: “The playing of music was done in this particular location in the town to address a very specific anti-social behaviour problem of intimidating begging and other issues.”
The spokesperson also dismissed an accusation in the petition that the authority had recently closed a soup kitchen, pointing out it does not have the power to do this unless there is a food safety issue.
And cabinet member for planning and environment, Cllr David Smith, said: “The playing of music at the station is one tiny part of the wider approach which includes close working with the police and the use of enforcement measures where appropriate in order to motivate people to assist them in changing their behaviour. Alongside this, however, we always offer people the accommodation and support they need and achieve many successes with this as people safely move inside.”
Interview with Hope for Food Founder Claire Matthews
Hope for Food is a Food bank and soup kitchen focussed in Bournemouth, where families can come and receive food, clothes and support. Claire Matthews, founder of Hope for Food describes the charities aims and pressures over the Christmas season, in this interview.
Yes its really busy this time of year, we’re feeding at least 30 families each time, every Tuesday and Thursday evening, as well we work on Saturdays, we need to because there’s just so many people who need feeding.
Who is the charity aiming at?
We aim to help homeless people in Bournemouth particularly vulnerable people. Usually people in shared accommodation. People with a lack of heat or eat and we get help a lot of families as well.
How is Food For Hope making a difference?
If we didn’t feed these people, they wouldn’t eat it is as simple as that, we don’t act like a food bank providing hampers. We work differently, people who are under the breadline come to us and we feed them.
Do lots of people get involved?
We get loads of volunteers. At the moment we have up to 60, and we usually get an extra 30 for Christmas. If it wasn’t for the volunteers, then we wouldn’t be able to feed so many people.
Are you the biggest soup kitchen charity in Bournemouth?
I wouldn’t go as far to say we’re the biggest, but we work hard on a lot of nights throughout the week, and we’ve only been running for 2 years now.