I'm afraid it's a worrying combination of reasons. Homelessness is a serious problem that nobody seems to want to take responsibility for.
I can't believe that Railtrack or whoever it is owns London Bridge station allows the guys to sleep in the area that leads to St Thomas' St, the amount of rubbish and filth that accumilites there is out of this world.
There is a homeless canteen on Melior St called the Manna centre that from 8am to late afternoon has anything up to 30 homeless people hanging around, many of them abusive to passers by and again masses of rubbish is strewn around the street on a daily basis. One problem is that some of these guys are involved in dealing in one way or another and the owners of the centre seem to take no action against anyone who is the cause of trouble.
The police in the area seem to have little effect either. I tried to report a group who pulled up outside of our office twice a day to smoke crack. Our office is next to a school and has kids and mums going past this each day. I called the local police station who kept me on hold for ages, and instead of getting some officers around right away to catch them in the act, they gave me another phone number to call which was never answered but just went through to an answer phone - incredible!
The alcohol and drug addicted homeless in the area need help but if they are left to their own devices nothing is ever going to get done, I get annoyed with myself because I almost feel that I'm getting a bit into Daily Mail territory but something has to be done
Over thirty years ago Rowton house at the elephant was closed and homeless people in their hundreds were evicted or to use the proper word ' decanted'.....the place was sold as I recall to the property developers who made it into the London Park Hotel...which eventually became a refugee hostel.. which I think it still is....some of those men were mentally ill, and some had served in the war.....
A fair amount of homeless people suffer from mental illness and at the end of the day no one in authority will really admit the problem..not enough property available for uk citizens and refugees. before any one assume I am anti refugee I am talking about economic migrants....
and I know with my memory I have probably posted before about this :-)