Less than 300 days left till the opening of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The clock is ticking, but not only for the international sport event. Rough sleeping should also have its days counted – in theory.
In November 2008 the British government launched a £200m strategy to end homelssness in London by 2012, including a more “compassionate” approach towards rough sleepers. Three years on, how close are we to achieving that goal, and is there enough compassion in the way the homeless are being treated?
Kristina Khoo, a journalist with an MA in International Journalism from Brunel University, has produced an investigative documentary (video below) looking into the government’s pledge to eliminate homelessness and the scepticism surrounding it.
Her investigation gives voice to grassroots charities and rough sleepers, who are not normally included into the government’s strategy. The documentary follows the journey of Mohammad, who has been rough sleeping on London buses for the past 10 years, and reveals some of the crude tactics employed to get the homeless off the streets.
According to the latest figures from the Rough Sleeping Statistics England:
- In autumn 2010, rough sleeping counts and estimates in England was 1,768.
- London, the South East and the South West had the highest number of rough sleepers with 415, 310 and 270 respectively. The North East had the lowest number with 49.
If you are interested in launching an investigation about housing and homelessness issues too, or if you already have done some work on these topics, do get in touch. We are recruiting collaborators.