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Street Drinkers in Flat Iron Square

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Tuesday 12 April 2005 2.00pm
A wet hostel is where drinking is allowed on the premises, often in a specific room. This helps resolve the problem of street drinking by hostel occupants congregating near the hostel.

A dry hostel is one that does not allow drinking on the premises, though they may allow people who have been drinking into the building as long as they do not pose a danger to staff or other residents.

There are also other things hostel managers can do like organising a place where those on perscription medicine, eg methadone, to collect and take their medication. But basically hostel managers are dealing with a client group with chaotic lives and there is a limit to what can be achieved at least in the short term. By and large having people accept a hostel place over sleeping rough on the streets is very positive and a first step in helping people reclaim their lives.

I would have thought St Mungos or whoever would welcome a constructive dialogue with neighbours and may be able to resolve some of the problems. But will not be able to take on full responsibility for what is really society's problem.
Tuesday 12 April 2005 4.08pm
Thanks for clarifying. I think St Mungo's is a dry hostel with a policy of tolerating alcohol abuse but not drinking on the premises. They do take a much stronger line on drug abuse as I know that the person injecting themselves opposite the hostel was later barred because of this. However, he is still around because he hangs out with other hostel users during the day.

I know Mungo's is supporting individuals in very difficult circumstances and in the past it has managed to operate without too much impact on other residents. I have lived here for 4 years and it is only in the last few months that I noticed a problem. We used to have one or two people around who sometimes sat in the square and didn't bother anyone - now there is a core group of around 6-7 and sometimes up to 15 and they are there for most of the day, seven days a week. I have written to Mungo's so will see what they say and whether they can do anything.

I suppose it's part of the variety of urban life but is a shame that all the little parks and squares around here are becoming less and less suitable for their intended use, particularly for children. It still doesn't make me want to move to some surburban hell instead though!
Monday 18 April 2005 10.41pm
I walk past this area at least once a day and have noticed it becoming more chaotic and frightening. Maybe if more people write to St Mungos they will take action faster. Can someone post the address for St Mungos here? Then anyone who is concerned can write to them and hopefully this will make them see that lots of people are concerned.
Tuesday 19 April 2005 11.21am
The addresses for both the local hostel and head office are:

Nick Wing
Hostel Manager
St Mungo's
96 Great Guildford Street
Southwark SE1 0ES

Charles Fraser
Chief Executive
St Mungo's Head Office
Atlantic House
1-3 Rockley Road
Shepherd's Bush W14 0DJ
Sunday 24 June 2012 6.49pm
barbaraemmerton wrote:
On Saturday I felt that Flat Iron Square looked dreadful with all these men sitting there drunk! Emma Cons garden inthe Cut has not been closed, have they all moved to this end of Union Street? we do have lots of tourists in the area now, weekends pleny of vistors parking locally for the Borough Market , wouldn't it be nice if they could sit for a coffee in Flat iron square , they do not give us a very good impression.
Why do the shops sell them liquor, barstaff can now be fined for serving additional drinks if the customer is already intoxicated. Does this apply to shopkeepers also!

I appreciate some of these people are down on their luck through no fault of their own, but they are not really helping themselves!

Dear Barbara, my name is Matilde and I'm currently working on a project on Union Street ( I have created a series of posters questioning the changeable identity of Union Street and its surroundings and I was wondering if I could use this extract of your post for one of them, as it presents very clearly a "social emergency" (what is changed in so many years?). I will not quote your name or any direct referement to your person and the quote will be anonymous. The poster will be displayed next Tuesday, 26th of June, in a temporary kiosk in Flat Iron Square. Thanks a lot, Matilde

ps: if you read the thread "Road-marking stencil for Union Press project" you'll find more informations.
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