The homeless are not all helpless victims – and their needs are more complex than we admit

The rise in rough sleeping is a complex cocktail of immigration, crime and despair.

On the streets of Manchester on a bitterly cold day, I met a teenage couple, in love but on the streets. Both had been in care. His leg was in plaster after a punch up. She was on the way to hospital to be sectioned.

“I’m having a bit of a mad one,” she admitted over a hot chocolate. They wanted a room in a nearby hostel but it was full up. Tory cuts, Manchester councillors had told me earlier. The young couple offered a different explanation: the hostel was filled with Eastern Europeans.

The numbers of people sleeping rough in England has almost doubled since 2010 – up 18 per cent in London alone last year according to government statistics. So why is this happening?

The Left blames austerity and accuses the wicked Tories of letting the poor freeze to death on our streets. On the other hand the police in…

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The Telegraph
Published 27 February 2018

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