The sight of homeless people is rare in developed countries. Hence, when more than 200 homeless people queued up for food in Glasgow, it was strange. They were waiting in line in sub-zero temperatures outside a soup kitchen in the city. One of the volunteers drew a comparison with a country in Eastern Europe that was torn apart by years of communist rule. He was furious and said there is a need to attend to the problem of the homeless people. No one in his right mind would want to be in a category where he has to depend on handouts for survival.

Each of them might be having his reason for the condition, and the administration has to come up with workable solutions.

Kindness Homeless Street Team had a busy night Monday February 8th when the number of persons in the queue crossed 200. The Team usually caters to a much less number of people ever since the start of the pandemic. It is a community group that began operations in 2019 for four nights a week. Its purpose is to extend a helping hand to the homeless and vulnerable people of Glasgow. These include necessities like food, clothing, toiletries, apart from the most important, emotional support.

An increase in the homeless might be due to the pandemic

A person who saw the queue took to social media to voice his opinion.

His words were - "This is Glasgow city centre last night in the 21st century where people are waiting in line to be fed by Kindness Homeless Street Team Glasgow. This makes me so angry. This has to end.” He added that some of them might be having genuine problems. Mirror UK mentions one of the organizers who explained that there were new faces in the queue on Monday night.

It was an assorted lot. A few of them had just been released from prison, and few others had fled from domestic violence. They were hungry, and Kindness Homeless Street Team Glasgow tried to meet their needs. In June 2019, Los Angeles reported an increase in the numbers of homeless by 16 percent compared to the previous year.

Circumstances create homeless persons

It seems the homeless who stood in a queue outside a soup kitchen to get the meals came from varied backgrounds. They stood in the freezing cold. Among them were people who enjoyed financial comfort. They owned businesses and had their own house. Some of them had been well off before the Coronavirus pandemic but are having to struggle now. The pandemic has disturbed the lives of people who find themselves in unfamiliar territory with a drop in earnings. They might have to move out of their rented accommodation and go homeless till they get another place. One of the families had lost their home and had to live in a caravan. It was circumstances that had made them homeless.

They had to adjust to a new lifestyle and swallow their pride to survive. The city of Los Angeles faced encroachment by the homeless, and local residents and businesses had to innovate to prevent the same.

Thousands of people are homeless in England

According to The Big Issue, it is estimated that as of December 2019, there were hundreds of thousands of homeless people in England. There are no figures available for Scotland and Wales. This category of people stays in temporary accommodation like hostels or shelters. Others stay with friends or relatives. As far as rough sleeping goes, some people have no other alternative but to live on the streets. Wales and Scotland also have their share of the homeless who sleep rough.

The coronavirus pandemic has worsened the situation. It has led to an increase in the number of ex-rough sleepers who are now in emergency accommodation, and it shows a rising trend. These homeless people bring with them problems associated with issues of health. Society has to face these issues for no fault of theirs.

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