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Beggars Waterloo/Borough

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Tuesday 21 October 2008 10.59am
i agree with jackie...we have structures and systems to support the needy in this country and there is no need for begging in this day and age. we no longer brand vagabonds do we? workhouses have long been abolished havent they?
Tuesday 21 October 2008 11.20am
westofbank wrote:

I also agree with a previous poster that there are some fantastic characters amongst these people

This is true. Has anyone seen the guy at the western end of the Strand, next to Trafalgar Square? He wears glasses and looks a bit like Frank from Eastenders. I've noticed him as my bus goes past in the mornings.

Some of the gestures, poses and movements this guy makes as he attempts to sell the Big Issue are hilarious.
Tuesday 21 October 2008 1.30pm
It's a while since I read it, but I recall that George Orwell was homeless in Waterloo Road. He writes of the flop-houses that lined the street in those days. I found it interesting that, unlike practically everywhere else, he didn't feel the need to change the name of the place for the book. So, the earlier poster was right about there being vagrants around here for a long time.

The other thing that I remember from the book is the lengths to which the destitute and near destitute would try to retain their dignity, and the lengths to which they would (be forced to) go to get food and a bed.

This seems to be very different to shouting, brawling people I see around, defecating in doorways and generally drawing attention to themselves by behaving like animals.

I wonder what's changed.
Tuesday 21 October 2008 1.52pm
The big problem is people looking for a panacea. There is no one size fits all. It is possible to bring some of the homeless people back into regular society and numbers have been by various charities and organisations.
Public urination (and defecation) is not a problem unique to homeless people. I see plenty of ‘professionals' using shop fronts and doorways as public urinals.
Maybe it would help if some of the many public toilets that have been closed over the past few years were reopened. I mean, if you are homeless where do you go for a number 1 and 2?
Tuesday 21 October 2008 1.57pm
Aren't there any toilets in Waterloo station? (Serious question--I've never looked.)
Tuesday 21 October 2008 2.07pm
I think they charge. Another reason for the begging I imagine. .50p for a cup of tea and .30p for a pee.
Tuesday 21 October 2008 2.48pm
westofbank wrote:
I think they charge. Another reason for the begging I imagine. .50p for a cup of tea and .30p for a pee.

I would be happy to pay someone's fee to the toilet if I was there at the same time and buy them a cup of tea. But I am not willing to finance somebody else's drugs or alcohol shopping. And I would assume one of the main reasons people end up being thrown out of hostels and other temporary accomodation is drugs and alcohol? Of course you can be idealistic and believe that the money you give a stranger in the street will go towards a much needed meal or cup of tea, but after hearing some of the guys moaning about "only" making 40 quid in a bad night I allow myself to be a bit suspicios.
Tuesday 21 October 2008 7.06pm
nelson_ wrote:
... but after hearing some of the guys moaning about "only" making 40 quid in a bad night I allow myself to be a bit suspicios.

But remember that's before tax and NI.
Wednesday 22 October 2008 8.16am
Lots of employers will not take on an employee who can not provide a home address I believe. In Derby City Centre they had a large safe post box like structure a few years back asking people not to give money to beggars but to put any spare change they have into the box and it would be given to a homeless charity to dole out.
Wednesday 22 October 2008 10.57am
Good idea!
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