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Showing posts from March, 2013

Out of sight - sleeping rough in car parks and corridors

From the seventh floor of the multi-storey car-park at this late hour the view is rather magnificent, but a cruel wind is whipping up the rubbish and there is not a soul around. I’m a Thames Reach London Street Rescue team volunteer tonight searching for rough sleepers with my colleague Rob and we have received a self-referral from a man sleeping rough in the car-park. It’s been a frustrating night. In Hounslow we discovered plenty of cardboard bedding but not the group of Lithuanians we feared could be sleeping rough. Under Kew Bridge and in a park in Putney the lone rough sleepers we have been tasked with contacting were not in their usual places. I ruminate on the unsettling paradox of being grievously disappointed not to find someone sleeping rough in sub-zero temperature.


But here on the stairwell we find our man, a 21-year old Pole called Karol. His is a story which is virtually a generic tale of youth homelessness. He came to this country as a fourteen year old unable to speak a…