The homeless crisis is not just an American problem, but one that extends well beyond these shores.
In Britain, for example, figures released in 2017 by the charity Shelter. show that more than 300,000 people in the U.K. are officially recorded as homeless or living in inadequate homes. To put that into perspective, the numbers equate to one in every 200 people in the country being without a stable home, meaning that the homeless population exceeds the 296,478 residents in the Newcastle-upon-Tyne local authority area.
The findings are said to be the most extensive yet.
Yesterday (2/6/2018), the Cambridge News published a story which focused on one 32-year-old homeless woman’s account of life on the streets.
Raymond Brown, who conducted the interview and is the paper’s Crime Reporter, tells Kindness and Hope about his interaction with the woman who was the focus of the piece.
“I was very impressed with this young woman who was positive despite sleeping out in the freezing cold,” Raymond explains. “Despite her situation, she struck me as a strong woman, intelligent and bright and it was clear that once she gets out of the Catch 22 situation she finds herself in, she will succeed in whatever she does.”
Here is the story in its entirety, republished courtesy of the Cambridge News;
A woman has told how she was attacked and suffers a daily barrage of sexual harassment living on Cambridge streets, as shock data reveals crimes against the homeless.
Nuvola Angelini has told the News how she was attacked by men in Sidney Street and asked 26 people to help but they all turned her backs on her.
The 32-year-old Italian rough sleeper is just one of a rising number of homeless people being attacked, new data has revealed.
Figures released by police show there were five recorded crimes where the victim was homeless in both 2013 and 2014.
In 2015 a total of 19 crimes against rough sleepers were reported, increasing to 45 the following year (2016) and 32 last year (2017).
Of those crimes, there were 11 rapes, eight robberies, and two kidnappings.
The majority of the crimes were violent offenses ranging from common assault.
Other crimes include race hate, threats to kill, theft, assaults with the intention to cause serious harm, several assaults with injury and bike theft.
‘He started kicking me and spitting in my face’
Nuvola was attacked along with a friend as they slept outside the Metro bank in Sidney Street just before Christmas.
She said: “These five guys walked past and started insulting me and then one of them pushed me. He started kicking me in the legs and spitting in my face. He was hitting me really hard. He hit my friend’s face and used a belt on her face.
“I ran up and down really scared and I asked 26 people for help. I know because I counted. They just turned their backs to me and wouldn’t help. I asked the taxi drivers for help but they just wound up their windows.
“The police didn’t come. This was right in front of the CCTV cameras but nothing was done. Later on one of the men came back and asked if I would give him oral sex for money. I am not a working girl.”
‘Every morning, every afternoon and every night men ask me for sex’
The former Addenbrooke’s worker, who started sleeping on the streets in May last year after losing her job because of legal problems, told how she is sexually harassed every day.
She said: “Every morning, every afternoon and every night men ask me for sex. They are not always drunk either. It doesn’t matter what their age. It is a daily thing.
“You just have to stand up for yourself and not show any fear.”
A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said: “We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable in society so it is concerning to see a rise in recorded crime against homeless people.
“We treat these offenses very seriously and will do everything in our power to bring those responsible to justice and give victims the best possible service.
“It’s also important to note that these figures may reflect a greater confidence among homeless people to report a crime to police in the first place, which can only be a good thing.”
Watch the interview below: