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Showing posts from October, 2009

Brutes in Suits and Hidden Angels

Sleeping rough is extreme. There you are, lying on a hard pavement or in a shop doorway with, at best, a thin blanket protecting you from the cold and a piece of cardboard insulating you from the rising damp. You know it will disintegrate into a soggy porridge as soon as it begins to rain. Your isolation is profound. Yet frequently, if you are sleeping rough in central London, thousands of people will be swirling around you as they go about their business, walking on by.

Extreme things happen to those sleeping rough. They experience a range of truly remarkable responses to their predicament. Maz slept rough for a few years at London Bridge station in central London. She was seriously addicted to super-strength lager and heroin and had to beg through the day to keep both herself and her boyfriend supplied with these devastatingly damaging drugs, one illegal, the other not. Maz told me that one night she was approached by a smart man in a suit and given what is often referred to by…