Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Big Issue

I was told that I should worry that of all the places I could sit on the bus I chose the seat by the man who was talking to himself and what's more he was the one to get up and leave. I hadn't even noticed but it reminded me of The Big Issue I had bought earlier and wondered if he was homeless.

The Big Issue provides 'opportunities for people facing homelessness to help themselves'.

SHELTER: Info on homelessness & avoiding it, who can get help from the council & where to get help if you're sleeping on the streets.

HOMELESS FACTS/STATS (CRISIS)

Mental health
- Mental health problems are up to eight times more common in the homeless population.(The Health of Single Homeless People, Centre for Housing Policy University of York, 1994)
- Mental health problems are nearly 4 times as common among hostel residents as in the general population. At least 1 in 5 homeless people have severe mental health problems; these problems are likely to have played a significant part in the circumstances which have caused them to become homeless.(Crisis, Pressure Points, 1999)
- Nearly 1 in 3 (60 per cent) of people sleeping rough have mental health problems (OPCS, The Prevalence of Psychiatric Morbidity among Homeless Adults, 1996)

Young People
- 25% approx of rough sleepers are aged between 18 & 25 (SEU, July 1998)
- 86% of young homeless people are forced to leave home rather than choose to

Mortality
- People who sleep rough are 35 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population (Crisis, Still Dying for a Home, 1996)
- Rough sleepers have an average life expectancy of 42 years, compared with the national average of 74 for men & 79 for women Crisis, Still Dying for a Home, 1996)

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