On Air

Pat Sharp

Challenging the stereotypes

Most of us believe it is a certain type of person who is homeless - but are we right? Should we form an opinion about someone without taking the time to get to know them? We asked people in Bolton to tell us the first thing that came into their head when describing a homeless person. Most described a smelly, dirty, alcoholic and drug addicted man.

But we found that this is not always the case.

Shockingly figures from children’s charity Barnardo’s reveal 1 in 6 young people in the Northwest have, at some point, had nowhere to call home. We spoke to Chantelle who works at the charity's Rachel House in Bury who told us: “There could breakdown at home in terms of relationships with parents, some come to us suffering from neglect or abuse, they might be looking after a parent who has substance mis-use problems.

“So generally where they’re living isn’t safe or appropriate.”

Sanctions have also become an increasing problem with people becoming homeless. Peter Green from Barnabus, a charity which offers food and support for the homeless, explained that sometime people are sanctioned for minor reasons for example: “A bus might not turn up to take someone to the job centre which won’t be taken into consideration.”

It can then take months for any benefits to be reinstated.