Homelessness is not a ‘lifestyle choice’

Most people do not choose to be homeless, but many don’t like living in the dog-eat-dog world that has been created by modern society. T.J.

Fitzrovia News

“When one has consorted with them, and found that they are ordinary human beings, one cannot help being struck by the curious attitude that society takes towards them,” wrote George Orwell about the homeless in his 1933 memoir, Down and Out in Paris and London.

A man under a blanket on a park bench. Down and out in Fitzrovia. “Cuts to housing benefits and a massively inflated housing market are the primary cause of increasing homelessness today, not individuals’ poor moral choices.”

What would Orwell, who championed clarity and transparency in writing, have made of Camden Cllr Jonathan Simpson’s comments, as reported in a recent Fitzrovia News article (“Counting Rough Sleepers…”, 13 April), when he included rough sleepers as among those who have a “street based lifestyle”?

Grinding poverty is cast as a “lifestyle choice” as in a “physically active lifestyle” or a “meat-free lifestyle”. Or what about the recent report from Fitzrovia Business Improvement District…

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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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