Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

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the parsley song
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Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby the parsley song » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:28 pm

Hi, I met this lady today and she's hitched up a tent on the footpath between Balham Library and Waitrose with 2 cats. She seems ok (as ok as you can be with that situation I suppose) and didn't want any food for herself or cats so I gave her some cash as she said she gets to stay at a hostel in Algate for £21 a week, but that the library lets her stay there when she doesn't have the money. Does anyone know her and if anyone is looking out for her? I don't want barge in like some middle-class do-gooder, but I also didn't want to hand over wads of cash. She's in a really small tent with 2 cats, surrounded by bags of stuff and smoking in there... possible recipe for disaster.

the parsley song
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Re: Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby the parsley song » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:50 pm

I think I'll offer to drive her and the cats to the Aldgate hospice she mentioned and pay for a few weeks directly to the hospice. Could anyone else chip in if she accepts?

wenlinchineseschool
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Re: Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby wenlinchineseschool » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:29 pm

That's very kind. I will be very happy to help too. Please pm me and give me more directions. Very kind of you to bring this up for more support.

the parsley song
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Re: Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby the parsley song » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:46 am

great, I will try and speak to her today and PM you.

Tillycat
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Re: Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby Tillycat » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:07 am

Hi, this lady was outside Sainsburys last week and I spoke to her. She also mentioned the hostel in Aldgate. I gave her £5 because she said she only had to find another £14 to pay for the hostel. At that point the cats were sharing a very small carrying cage so I went home and got my cat carrying cage and gave it to her so each cat could have more space. I felt concerned for her as well as for the welfare of the cats . However, I wonder if she is intending to go to the hostel having read this. It would be great if you could indeed help her get there.

actuallyadad
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Re: Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby actuallyadad » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:10 pm

NOT you'd expect outside Waitrose... Lidl maybe

AceOfClubs
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Re: Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby AceOfClubs » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:11 am

If this lady is homeless then the best thing that can be done is a referral to Streetlink (streetlink.org.uk). They will contact the local outreach team who can then refer her into a hostel. No homeless hostels now take direct access from the street nor do they charge cash.

Asking for cash for a hostel is one of the oldest tricks in the book.

This lady is obviously very unwell and needs a health assessment in her local area not people offering to drive her across London. in such situations putting people in touch with the services available locally is the best you can do.

Many thanks

Sarah Miles
Ace of Clubs (day centre for homeless and vulnerable people)
St Alphonsus Road
London SW4 7AS
02077202811
sarahmiles@aceofclubs.org.uk

twingirlsmama
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Re: Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby twingirlsmama » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:24 am

Actuallyadad - how conceited can you get? No need to answer that - I think many folk would concur.
Any of us could be homeless and this kind of comment is shameful.
Wonderful as all the offer of help is, I think we do need to consider what this lady wants or needs. I took her some babywipes and deodorant a few weeks ago at her request. Such a simple basic need - cleanliness, that we no doubt take for granted.
Cash handouts should be avoided I feel and if I'm asked for money I say I only have my debit card with me.
She should receive professional help and there are support groups for the homeless. Let's volunteer at these - Glassdoor at St Luke's being one. Give people the support they really need brought to them by those with experience.

jorigby
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Re: Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby jorigby » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:55 am

Hi all

The woman's name is Marie and she really does need protecting. Unfortunately, the services that did exist to support people in her situation (including safe houses for people leaving violent relationships) have been scaled back significantly. This is why we are seeing the very sad rise in the number of people sleeping rough.

The SPEAR team are in Balham twice a week. I've alerted them to Marie and her situation. The transient nature of sleeping rough means that they have been unable to find Marie on those visits.

If you do see her, then please call SPEAR, Rough Sleeper’s Hotline 020 8404 1481. They can only come out twice a week, but if we keep them informed of her whereabouts then they may see her. She is also often in the doorway of the Baptist Church on Ramsden Road or the door way opposite Brother Marcus on Chestnut Grove.

If you do see her, she also loves a good cup of tea with plenty of sugar. If anyone wants to email me separately about this then we could connect and work to get the SPEAR team to find her.

Thanks

Jo

Tillycat
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Re: Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby Tillycat » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:15 pm

Thanks so much for the advice and update Jorigby. Marie was outside Sainsbury's back entrance yesterday afternoon

Goldhawk
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Re: Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby Goldhawk » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:29 am

She is definitely a recent arrival at the library

I thought it was usually a guy in the doorway opposite subway

windmill26
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Re: Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby windmill26 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:41 am

actuallyadad wrote:NOT you'd expect outside Waitrose... Lidl maybe

I am schocked by your comment.If is a joke is NOT funny! If you are serious you are completely out of touch,deluded and disrespectful! :roll:

jorigby
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Re: Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby jorigby » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:52 am

Goldhawk wrote:She is definitely a recent arrival at the library

I thought it was usually a guy in the doorway opposite subway


There are three rough sleepers in that space. They all need a lot more support than is currently available. The services that were available have been cut back significantly.

It is specifically worrying regarding Marie, as a female sleeping rough. I've spoken with the Council. Their response is that unless the individual requests help and gives out their name, then they can't help. Unfortunately, with at least two of the people, it doesn't seem that straightforward.

Goldhawk
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Re: Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby Goldhawk » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:13 pm

The lady and her two cats were there again this morning

I'm surprised the council haven't removed her stuff

jorigby
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Re: Lady and cats living in tent outside Balham library/Waitrose

Postby jorigby » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:21 pm

That would be a dreadful thing for the council to her, those are her possessions.


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