Published On: Fri, May 15th, 2015 on 5:20 pm

The homeless are being criminalised, not all are drug-addicts

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I wrote this on the back of the story that was published on this site ‘Public discouraged from giving money to beggars in Leeds city centre’ on 13 May.

Charity

I personally believe the campaign is just criminalising the homeless. Although I’m sure the people behind it have good intentions, it’s the mere fact that it’s painting a brush that some or many of those beggars on the street are ‘fuelling an addiction’.

Sure, many may be funding an addiction, but we CANNOT paint all those homeless people with the same brush saying they fund an addiction. What kind of message is this giving?

There is a LACK of information out there on where to go when one becomes homeless.

I personally, right now, don’t know where I would go or call if I was thrown out of my house, and had no family and friends to turn to. What emergency number could I call? Is there a nearby centre that could offer me accommodation for the night? I just don’t know.

So can you blame people begging on the streets?

As I write this I have read the Supreme Court has said that councils must do more to help single homeless people in a landmark ruling. I can only assume that we know homelessness is an issue that needs to be tackled.

And I will continue to give change to people who seem like they need it because I do not need to think about whether it will fund an addiction. I think about humanity.

By Brian Jones, Leeds.

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