Reader letter: Why choose to demonise and alienate the homeless?

PUBLISHED: 15:15 07 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:57 08 March 2018

A homeless man begging. (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)

A homeless man begging. (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)


Re “Are those dishing out soup making Norwich’s homeless issue worse?”

Steven Downes’ polemic against the homeless population of Norwich, and the spurious allegations that the most desperate members of our community are engaged in a wilful attempt to defraud us it contains is truly grotesque.

MORE: Don’t blame soup kitchens for showing compassion and support to those in need

At the end of a week that saw night time temperatures plummet to their lowest in years, and in which the headlines of other newspapers drew attention to the plight of rough sleepers, the EDP instead elected to publish Mr Downes’ article.

While you could have published a story on, say Andy Burnham’s call to urge local authorities to increase their provision of emergency shelter, you published Mr Downes’ piece.

Rather than drawing attention to their terrible plight in reference to the deaths in recent weeks of five rough sleepers in Nottingham, you chose to demonise and alienate them.

Instead of attempting to understand, or humanise the desolate situations of the homeless perhaps by interviewing one or two, you published an article that attacks them as a problem for the image of our city as held by Steven Downes. For shame.

I can only hope that Mr Downes’ conviction that charities are best placed to administer to the needs of the destitute will lead to the launch by the EDP of a drive for donations to one such charity, and a review of the social good done by the publication of such polemics against the victims of poverty.

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