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Home: young and old experience homelessness

A homeless person sleeps on Park Road(File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Figures recorded by a charity for the homeless highlight the diversity in the ranks of the unsheltered seen over the past 11 months.

Home said the reality lay in its analysis of the 47 people enlisted in its last six cohorts during that time.

According to Home, their average age was 43, with the youngest enlisted aged 19, while the oldest was 75.

The charity assists people in regaining stable living, starting with an eight-week programme designed to restore the building blocks of a normal life.

Each cohort is given shelter and support to put their lives back on track in accommodation at the Black Circle building on Union Street, Hamilton.

Home said its records indicated that financial stability could link to access or willingness of the homeless to seek healthcare.

Figures showed a significant correlation between people who confirmed having a bank account also having seen a doctor in the 12 months before seeking help from the charity.

Ending homelessness

The Royal Gazette, in conjunction with stakeholders including Home, has launched its Ending Homelessness campaign to remind the community that the homeless matter.

Home, and others, want to end homelessness. So do we. We want your support. We want you to change your perception of the homeless. We want you to help lobby for simple changes. We want you to show compassion.

Homeless people want to work so that they can be self-sufficient. They did not choose to be homeless and in many cases their plight was brought about by systemic failings in this country.

According to Home’s records, 17 people from the past six cohorts were living in the streets or public spaces, without any shelter qualifying as living quarters.

Home said three had lived under the threat of violence, while five faced the threat of eviction.

On the employment front, more than 80 per cent of the 47 lacked jobs before enrolling at Home, while 70 per cent had no bank account.

A spokesman said: “There’s a moderate positive correlation between being employed when homelessness started and having a bank account, which is intuitive as employment is likely to facilitate financial services access.”

Home’s records indicated its programme had borne fruit.

Of the 47 on its roster for the past six cohorts, only six returned to homelessness.

The charity’s records showed 14 people living independently since completing stints at Home.

Two were living at a homeless shelter, while three were in a rest or care home.

Fifteen lived at present in one of the charity’s properties.

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Published April 20, 2024 at 7:55 am (Updated April 20, 2024 at 7:27 am)

Home: young and old experience homelessness

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