What's homelessness like in other countries (not US)?

I mean, I’m sure it sucks, but how are the homeless treated in other countries? How do they live?

I’ve no relevant answers myself, but here’s the webpage of the largest homelessness charity in Britain.

In Canada in January? From time to time, they don’t. :frowning:

Even within Canada, I find there are significant regional differences. I live in Calgary, a city of about 1M. We’re told that homeless numbers are growing here, and I can believe it just by looking around. I’m not sure why homelessness is growing, however. Are more people becoming homeless, or are more homeless vagrants simply moving here? Nobody has told us why it is becoming more of a problem.

There’s a lot of attention given to homelessness here. One of the biggest questions asked by activists is, “why is there a serious shortage of affordable housing given that we live in one of the richest jurisdictions in North America?” The workers in the shelters and whatnot get quite a bit of face time on the local news. I would say that there is a great deal of concern here for homelessness issues, whether it be for benevolent reasons, or for concerns about the visibility of the problem.

We certainly have some panhandlers, but they are not as common as I’ve seen in Toronto, a much larger city, or in Vancouver, a much warmer city. If I had to guess, I’d say maybe 60% are homeless for whatever reason, while the other 40% are made up of street-kid types; those that appear able-bodied and you wonder why they don’t work.

I’ve found that there appears to be more concern for the homeless here than in Toronto. When I was there for a few months, I found that the homeless people there were not “technically” homeless. What I mean is that many of them seemed to live on specific streetcorners, as I passed by them daily for several months. During the day, they would hang their sleeping bag over a nearby wrought iron fence or what have you and go off to do whatever it was that they did, returning in the evening to take up residence on their corner. It was my impression that homelessness there is so bad that nobody even bothers to pay much attention any more. That is to say, homelessness is such a major though common problem there, nobody even bothers to “move them along” anymore. Of course, this is simply my impression as an outsider visiting.

Vancouver seems to have more of a reputation as a serious drug-abuse area. The homeless there tend to be seen by those where I come from as hard-core drug addicts and/or prostitutes. It seems a ridiculous (and cruel) comparison, but I think we tend to think of our homeless as somehow “better” than their homeless. Sure, ours might not have a place to live for whatever reason, but it’s pretty rare to walk into an alley around here and see junkies shooting up heroin. Again, my impression is that this would not be quite as easy to avoid in Vancouver.

Note: I want to add that these are my impressions of the situation, and I fully acknowledge that not all street kids are there just because they’re lazy and that Toronto is not necessarily a horrible, mean, evil city full of horrible mean, evil people just because of homelessness.

Note 2: (they’re a horrible, mean, evil city full of horrible, mean, evil people for a variety of reasons that extend well beyond simple homelessness ) :smiley:

I’ve always wondered why the numbers of homeless seems to always increase, despite the vast array of services for them. take Boston (a city of about 1 million). There are several homelss shelters, plus many homeless on the streets. The PIne Street Inn (a homeless shelter) has expanded several times…and yet, it is always filled to capacity! Some of the patrons have been from as far away as Canada.
I belive that this pattern has been seen in other cities: every expansion of shelters has been met by an increase in the homeless population.