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Lewes Forum thread

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Upsurge in Visible Homeless

On 3 Dec 2021 at 11:54pm neo wrote:
Right, to be clear. Iíve got nothing but empathy for those struggling among us. It just hit me the other day how many more visible people there are begging on the streets of Lewes very recently and I wondered why this may be.
Is it the Xmas period where those in need know theyíre more likely to get help from those around, has there been a change in housing options in Lewes recently, migration from nearby towns etc?
Not interested in people putting others down as whoever is prepared to sit in the cold asking for change has a lot more going on than simple greed or laziness, those answers are daft. Itís that Iíve noticed a real reduction in people begging over the past year or so and then suddenly bam! thereís at at least 3,4,5 along Cliffe High St.
On 5 Dec 2021 at 10:57am Nevillman wrote:
A few years ago, back when this forum attracted a lot of informed comment and before every thread turned into whatever random idea happened to be inside Tom's head, there was a very interesting debate on begging and homelessness.
It is a mistake to assume that people who are begging and people who are homeless are the same and a mistake to assume that everyone either begging or homeless, has the same story and reason for being there.
There is some evidence (anecdotal) to suggest that some of the beggars are brought into Lewes from other towns. They will go wherever the pickings are best and from what I see, Lewes residents are quite generous. New people begging seem to appear who have not been seen around the town in any capacity before. This might back up that theory. The only other evidence I have for this is people saying they 'saw them getting out of a car' but if they are Lewes homeless I have no idea where they sleep.
There is evidence to suggest that some of the people begging are junkies who find begging is the best way to get their next fix. I have overheard 2 people begging who would support this theory. Apparently a number of them live in a house together in Lewes.
Whether any of the people begging are genuinely homeless with no other support I can't say and I certainly don't want to diminish anyone who is sitting on cliffe high Street for whatever reason. I am interested to know any other views on the subject.
On 5 Dec 2021 at 1:10pm Green Sleeves wrote:
To think that if we had a competent welfare system and progressive drugs/addiction policies, the only ones left on the streets would be greedy opportunists who at the end of the day would get back into their Audis and drive home to their 5 bed homes. Sadly, the whole system does suck and genuine people slip through the large gaps in our "safety net".

On 7 Dec 2021 at 9:11am Nevillman wrote:
I'm all in favour of a competent welfare system and policies to help with addiction problems but I think there will always be people begging while there are enough people willing to give them money for sitting there. Do you think it is an urban myth that people are brought into Lewes from elsewhere to beg?

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