[News Reports] Bournemouth councillor criticised for homelessness as lifestyle comment
Bournemouth councillor Robert Lawton has been criticised by a homeless charity for saying that some people choose to be on the streets and willing be homelessness.
“Perhaps they just prefer that lifestyle [and] don’t want anything to do with society.”
Cllr Lawton says that the number of rough sleepers in the Bournemouth area has risen significantly, but several of these vulnerable people intentionally want to be on the streets. However, he says the Council has provided help for homeless people, but that they often refuse the services being offered to them.
National homeless charity Crisis believes it is not helpful to refer to homelessness in this way.
“It’s certainly not something we’d describe as a lifestyle. None of the people that we work with would ever choose to be homeless. [They] genuinely want to better themselves and to get out of homelessness,” says a Crisis spokesperson.
Bournemouth had 1,310 rough sleepers in the 2010/2011 financial year, 67% higher than Bradford, whose population is three times greater. Homelessness is a national issue, and the number of people sleeping rough is increasing.+
Cllr Lawton said the council will do whatever it can to find a solution to this issue in Bournemouth.+