Sadly, some people, even if housed, who have previously been rough sleepers, sometimes spend nights sleeping out on the street.

One of our former service users, long housed, occasionally spent nights sleeping in the town centre. He said he “missed the life“.

He died a while ago but he helps to explain the mistake sometimes made by observers that the numbers on the street are higher than in reality. As we have been trying to explain in these posts, appearing to be homeless is not the same as actually being so.

The man above had lots of complex needs and Hope and others had been addressing these for years, with kindness and compassion. The council and others treated him with compassion when he was found sleeping rough, as of course should anyone.

But by that time, he was not a rough sleeper who needed housing: he had that. Looking at him, people would be forgiven for thinking ‘Why are there so many homeless‘.

Incidentally he had a son, who died days after his father. He used to beg in the Kingsley Park area and when asked, would always say, in relation to an offer of help – ‘Its OK, I have somewhere to live‘.

So on some days you could see both out, apparently with no place to sleep. Yet both, although they had other needs, were not in need of housing.