Down & Out in Bournemouth & Poole: Day 20:The Truth Is Rarely Pure & Never Simple

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Borough of Poole is urging anyone concerned about people sleeping rough to contact the national initiative Street-link. Given the lack of respect they actively encourage where the homeless are concerned, I would have to ask why. 

“It is always a concern to see people sleeping rough, especially in cold winter weather. Contacting Streetlink on 0300 5000 914 ensures that the council can offer their services to people who might need them. As well as the Street-link hotline number, people can also download the smartphone app or use the ‘Report It’ function on our website to report their concerns for a rough sleeper.”

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“Anyone can become homeless, and sleeping rough can be dangerous and damaging to health. The longer someone sleeps rough, the greater the risk that they will become trapped on the streets and vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime, developing drug or alcohol problems, or experiencing problems with their health.”

If Poole Council genuinely cared about homelessness why have rough sleepers as young as twenty three, had to beg them for housing which they still have failed to provide?

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Cllr Karen Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing, Borough of Poole, said: “We take the hardship faced by rough sleepers, particularly during the cold weather, very seriously and have a dedicated provision in place to help provide support and shelter where ever possible.”

Here, I have to cut in because in reality there is no provision in place to provide support, and no effort has been made to provide shelter in our case and in many others.

policeman-fancy-dress-sm38833“If you are concerned about anyone sleeping rough then please contact Streetlink on 0300 5000 914, and help to connect that person with the local services available.” The Bournemouth and Poole Rough Sleepers Team is managed by CRI on behalf of both local authorities. The team works with all people sleeping rough in Poole to access appropriate support, make positive lifestyle changes and leave the street.”

Again I have to cut in, they are useful only insofar as they provide information to the police on the criminal goings on of certain homeless people, they also check up to see if any rough sleepers have died.

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“They also provide assertive street outreach six days a week, and deliver a daycentre in Poole each weekday.”

If ‘assertive’ means actively supporting the departure of homeless people needing accommodation from the county of Dorset, then yes, I agree, they can be extremely assertive. As to running a day centre, this is also untrue, they are given use of St James Church & the Salvation Army Centre on alternate days of the week five days a week, for two to three hours a day and very few homeless people care to use their services.

“Service delivery is designed to assist all rough sleeping individuals to access secure accommodation and lead safer and healthier lives.”

This is also a lie, I can recall speaking to a member of this team with regards to some dangerous behaviour displayed by a particular individual toward another homeless person, they did absolutely nothing about resolving that situation to anyone’s satisfaction. 

Am I amazed that Poole Borough Council could include so many untruths in this bulletin which incidentally is on the borough website? Not really, we & others should be housed but we aren’t, because at the end of the day, as they have made us all aware, the power when it comes to whether we are housed and how we are perceived by the general community lies in their hands, not ours.

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