At Your Own Place we support all those individuals and charities appealing to the government not to criminalise rough sleeping in tents or the giving out of tents by charities and others.
We acknowledge the issue is complex, as we have seen before and will again at Christmas, in discussions about whether to give cash to a homeless person. To ameliorate their immediate suffering or to feel powerless against a system we cannot change?
The choice of word ‘lifestyle’ captures the Instagram age in which we live, making the notion that anyone could choose to live in a tent in the same way they might choose to live in a ten bedroom mansion, deeply offensive.
That rough sleeping and all types of homelessness have risen in the last decade is ignored in this ambition, making no effort to acknowledge the complex underlying causes. To say nothing of the impossibility of policing a law of this kind.
Who among us when offered the choice between a safe and secure home and a tent on the streets, would choose a tent? No-one. Because the choice had been removed for those hardest hit by our current housing crisis.
We wholly reject the demeaning, heartless, polarising rhetoric and over-simplification of a failed housing system.