‘Designing out’: a callous or compassionate response to rough sleeping?

I have a better idea, tax overweight people and use the money for homeless programs. That may save more then a few lives on each side of the equation.

Social Policy, Housing, and Equality Research blog

Dr Sarah Johnsen Dr Sarah Johnsen

The installation of ‘spikes’ to deter people from bedding down in a doorway regularly used by rough sleepers in London has recently prompted an outcry that has gone viral in social media.  To many, such actions seem cold-hearted, callous and misguided given the obvious discomfort and vulnerability of street homeless people. To others, the very same response is viewed as a necessary means of deterring vulnerable individuals from engaging in behaviour that is severely detrimental to their own health and wellbeing and, furthermore, has a negative effect on the wider community.  Emotions run high on both sides of the debate, it seems.

The practice of ‘designing out’ street homelessness by manipulating the built environment to make ‘hotspots’ less conducive to rough sleeping has a long history here in the UK and overseas.  It has always been controversial, as evidenced by public outrage inspired by the installation of…

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About tjmcfee

Freelance writer. Activist on homeless issues. 48 years old. I write about subjects that need to be examined closely and thoughtfully. The idea for Brain Sections came from reading a book about abandoned asylums. I wanted to set a suspense story in that setting. The inclusion of crazed scientists turning homeless people into zombies is what makes the story unique. View all posts by tjmcfee

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