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Australia Darwin Mayor proposes relocating rough sleepers to suburbs, but what do the homeless think?

12:10  11 january  2018
12:10  11 january  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

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Darwin 's Lord Mayor wants to move rough sleepers to outer suburbs , but one homeless man tells the ABC there's safety and services in the CBD.

The Mayor of London has opened emergency shelters to accommodate homeless people sleeping in the freezing temperatures. What about rough sleepers who appear to be under 18 years old? 14. 911 dispatcher asks white people to think before calling police. Monday 4 June 2018 16:15.

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Jack became homeless because of "a few things", among them trouble with a child support agency.

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Because of this, rough sleepers are dealt with on a town or city-by-city basis. Shelter has published a list of organisations you can contact for help depending on where in Charity Homeless Link said the homelessness figures amounted to a 73 per cent rise in rough sleeping over the past three years.

However, many homeless people appear to have relocated during that time. In 2003, the Mayor Pro Tem Lewis Cheek of Durham proposed a plan to ban begging outright in that city. El Dorado County has only rough estimates of the number of people without homes living there.

"It just sort of stemmed from there, I suppose," Jack, who uses a nickname because he comes from a small town, said.

Jack spends most nights sleeping in so-called bush camps around Darwin. © Provided by ABC News Jack spends most nights sleeping in so-called bush camps around Darwin.

He is on a priority wait list for government-subsidised housing.

His other concern is finding steady work, and he spent most of Tuesday afternoon this week at a job centre.

"I have picked up a few jobs since I've been homeless, but it's a bit hard sort of trying to go to work and getting up and putting boots on when you're homeless," he told ABC Radio Darwin's Conor Byrne.

Until a stable roof and income are found, he will spend most nights in a bush camp — a tarpaulin laid in temporary sleeping spots in Darwin's inner suburbs — close to the agencies and services he relies on.

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Latest figures claim that the number of people living on the streets in England reached a new record high of 4,751 rough sleepers But these figures released by the National Audit Office in January are actually being disputed by some homeless charities. They think the number is much, much higher.

According to The Age, Doyle’s office is currently working on new bylaws to give police additional powers to relocate rough sleepers , although any Big protest at Melbourne Town Hall against proposed ban of homeless people in the city #springst #ausopen #auspol # homeless pic.twitter.com/BMxGj1siVL.

For this reason, he disagrees with the Darwin Lord Mayor's proposal to establish a homeless services hub in Berrimah, a largely industrial suburb halfway between Darwin and Palmerston.

"Everybody wants something to be done and many people complain about the Darwin City Council doing nothing; others complain about the NT Government's lack of action," Mayor Kon Vatskalis wrote in a Facebook post.

"So I want to propose a solution that can provide safety, a place to stay at night and medical assistance to these people."

The proposal, which Mr Vatskalis said he intended to put to the Government, would also involve the linking up and relocation of existing homelessness services.

Many of these are currently deployed in the city centre, where many anti-social incidents have been known to occur.

Recently the Government established three services amounting to 92 beds in Berrimah.

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Both the mayor ’s office and King County’s All Home (formerly the Committee to End Homelessness ) are awaiting reports from nationally recognized Hohlbein became inspired to act after moving his office from the suburbs to the Fremont neighborhood, where he began to encounter homeless people.

Connery thinks the solution for homelessness is more federal funding, a bigger social safety net, and more community outreach programs. The hope was for corporate gentrification of a pretty rough zone. Now called "Mid-Market," it has reportedly simply pushed the homeless into nearby areas.

But Jack said Darwin's rough sleepers, many of whom can't regularly afford public transport, relied on the city for its central location.

Business owners are frustrated with the high instance of rough sleeping hotspots in the CBD. © ABC News Business owners are frustrated with the high instance of rough sleeping hotspots in the CBD.

His years on the street have taught him that there is safety to be found in highly visible, familiar locations.

"In some circumstances, it's safer on the street.

"If you're in a group you can sit somewhere and be pretty safe.

"But when they send you off to places like this, you're on your own and you're more vulnerable."

Business owners 'fed up'

The Lord Mayor's Facebook post comes on the back of ongoing disturbances reported by business owners in the city.

Public urination, loitering and fighting in the street are some examples cited by NT Chamber of Commerce members.

"They're expressing a strong frustration that the itinerant behaviour seems to be a lot stronger than it has been in a long time," the chamber's acting chief executive Brian O'Gallagher said.

Brian O'Gallagher says a recent Chamber of Commerce survey showed members wanted urgent action. © ABC News Brian O'Gallagher says a recent Chamber of Commerce survey showed members wanted urgent action.

Mr O'Gallagher said he had been consulting with a business which takes buckets of disinfectant to its shopfront each morning.

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Begging has become a problematic in the Tauranga suburb of Greerton where "begging gangs" have been known to use Homeless providers have also been supportive of the proposed bylaw. Te Tuinga Whanau Trust's Tommy Wilson said the bylaw will help beggars and rough sleepers .

Writing on Twitter today, the London Mayor said: 'Spikes outside Southwark housing development to deter rough sleeping are 'When I realised I thought it was a strange and brutal idea. Homeless charity St Mungo’s Broadway, which has a centre to help rough sleepers get back on their feet near

"It is detracting from local people coming to shop and it's certainly a deterrent to tourists," he said.

Mr O'Gallagher said he was broadly supportive of the Lord Mayor's proposal and was optimistic that it could function as a short-term fix to a long-standing issue.

"At the same time we need to go to the root causes of what's causing it, so is it homelessness? Is it people moving through country they're not familiar with? Let's get to the root causes and solve it.

"But we need both."

Deputy Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro, whose seat of Spillett covers Berrimah, said the proposal would be simply shifting the issue from one location to another.

"More than that, there is already a shelter in Berrimah operated by the Salvation Army," she said in a statement.

New measures showing early signs of success

Amid mounting pressure to tackle anti-social behaviour in the city, the Government unveiled a new suite of measures in September.

Part of the strategy was the establishment of residential and rehabilitation services in Berrimah, including the relocation of a sobering-up shelter previously in the inner suburb of Coconut Grove.

Another part was the reintroduction of day patrols returning rough sleepers to homes and accommodation services in Darwin and beyond.

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Melbourne's lord mayor , Robert Doyle, was said to be "waging war" on the homeless . You don't need to criminalise it." The alternative plan proposed by the social agencies includes: More lockers and storage for rough sleepers

Heartless tanning salon owner installs sprinklers and spikes to stop homeless people sleeping rough outside his shop. When you see a blanket-covered body shifting uncomfortably in a doorway, hole-ridden boots protruding at one end, matted hair at the other, what do you think ?

The service, run by Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation, is showing early signs of success, moving more than 600 people in its inaugural month of December.

Most of these people were in the CBD.

The corporation's chief executive, Robert Cooper, said he was wary of how their needs would be met in Berrimah, even if the suburb offered more beds.

"From my perspective it's a social equity issue. It's not about moving the provision of services from one spot to the other because all that does is move the problem," he said.

"What [Larrakia Nation is] about is taking a longer-term view to these issues and identifying why people are in the places they are and why they have what are often a complex number of issues."

Without examining the underlying issues, Mr Cooper said, relocating people would only solve the problem for the people who wanted to see them moved.

"If you're moving people from one place to another, you need to understand why they were there in the first place, and will they actually want to be in the second place, and will they want to stay there," he said.

"You can't move them by force. You need to make them want to go there."

Robert Cooper says his organisation is committed to examining the underlying causes of homelessness. © ABC News Robert Cooper says his organisation is committed to examining the underlying causes of homelessness.

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