By Tom Hall
If the supposedly disaffected younger give you the sub-text to such a lot of of our social anxieties, then the younger homeless loom better the following than so much: our so much vibrant reminder of social exclusion, and exemplars too of what the tabloid press wish to describe because the feckless, wilful bad. This publication explores what lifestyles is basically like for Britain’s younger homeless: estranged from their households, out of labor and making do at the fringes of social safeguard. the result's a shiny portrait of a urgent social challenge. in line with prolonged fieldwork research – the writer spent three hundred and sixty five days within the corporation of children relocating among hostel lodging, rented bed-sit tenancies and episodes of rooflessness – higher instances Than this is often Britain’s first complete ethnographic learn of juvenile homelessness.
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Extra resources for Better Times Than This: Youth Homelessness in Britain
Rhys signs a copy of the rules and Ann shows him the bedroom he will be sharing and then introduces him to the residents sitting in the front room. Leaving him in there, she returns to the office to file away his paperwork. ‘They’re now undoing all the things I’ve just been through with him’, she explains, smiling wryly. * * * This vignette is repeated, with minor variation, every time a young person comes to stay at the hostel. New arrivals sit down in the office with a member of staff, tell their story, answer 6.
An ambulance and then a police car pull up outside one of the bedsit properties across the road from the hostel. The residents press against the front window to watch events unfold. Richie and Craig slip out and bring back a muddled report of a fracas between tenants. With the fuss over, the evening starts to wind down. Richie plays a few games of draughts with Craig and Tony; Graham and Chris cook up a snack in the kitchen. Paula and Siobhan arrive back in the nick of time, breathless and laughing, just as Poppy is locking up.
And then there is the fortnightly cycle of benefit payments: two weeks managing on dwindling funds and then, on giro day, the chance to splash out and live a little, to take a trip to the shops or the amusement arcade as a paying customer and smoke cigarettes from a pack of 20. Most days most residents are hard up, and life at the hostel is correspondingly frugal. This is taken for granted, but it does not go without saying. Conversation around the table at dinner and in front of the television turns again and again to money: how little of it anyone has, how many more days to go until giro day, and how best to get by until then.