Homelessness is a Big Issue on islands

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Homelessness is a Big Issue on islands

Post by GD on Thu 03 Feb 2011, 6:35 pm

Homelessness is on the increase in the Channel Islands.

In Guernsey, one shelter has admitted more than 100 islanders and the number of homeless in Jersey has significantly increased.

Meanwhile, in the UK, one man has helped thousands of the homeless get their lives back on track.

He is Mel Young, who co-founded the Big Issue magazine.

But whilst it has been a big success overseas, no one sells the magazine in the bailiwicks.

In Guernsey, homelessness is a big problem.

At St Julian's House they admitted more than a hundred people last year - all needing somewhere to stay for a whole variety of reasons.

22% of people went there because they had been evicted from their accommodation, 19% had been asked to leave the family home by their parents, 13% came because their relationship had broken down, 9% had been released from prison, and 8% discharged from hospital. There is also a handful of long term residents who live there permanently.

While St Julian's offers a safe place to stay, not everyone takes advantage of it.

The management here say there are people sleeping rough in Guernsey - and they have taken two of them in already this year.

In Jersey, The Shelter Trust has recognised the rise in homelessness.

At their main site, Aztec House, 46 people a night stayed there in August 2009.

That number increased by 9% to 50 a night in just one year - their maximum capacity.

They also had to cook more meals - 56 - which is 10 more than the year before.

In the UK The Big Issue is one way homeless people are helped to help themselves.

The so-called social business allows sellers to earn 85p for every copy of the magazine they sell - giving them the chance to earn a legitimate income.

Mel Young, who co-founded The Big Issue in 1993, says giving people a hand up rather than a hand out is a solution.

He said: "It's critically about self-respect and self-esteem, and even if somebody's bought a copy then the next day talk to them about the weather or the football or whatever, just pass the time of day as you would with a neighbour or a friend.

"I think that's great in terms of making people feel part of society because the big thing about being homeless is you feel completely excluded, completely isolated, completely on your own so now you're visible and people are interacting with you."

But while the benefits of The Big Issue are obvious, in the Channel Islands the solution is not so clear-cut.

People who work with the homeless say because they are such small communities there could be a stigma attached to selling the magazine.

So Guernsey and Jersey may need to find different ways of solving the issue.
(from CTV)


......THE BOSS......

"Always be yourself because the people who mind don't matter, and the people who matter don't mind"

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Re: Homelessness is a Big Issue on islands

Post by kingcolemk on Thu 03 Feb 2011, 7:03 pm

Is that 100 different people or 100 admissions ?

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Re: Homelessness is a Big Issue on islands

Post by Thistle on Thu 03 Feb 2011, 7:59 pm

so sad some that people in guernsey dont have somewhere to live...
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