One of the major problems that have been faced by many European countries is the problem of rough sleeping. This problem has been stemming from the social changes that have been taking place over the time. Psychology of the people involved plays a fundamental role in the development of certain schemas and classes. It is human nature to divide and categorize the different kinds of information that one gets into classes so that one is able to reach to it properly.
Schemas are formed unintentionally due to which generalizations are made for people with similar kinds of attitudes, beliefs and appearances. In order to filter the social circle, people tend to filter out individuals who they consider inferior or beneath them for many reasons. This gives rise to the fundamental problem of social exclusion. (cambridgecitycouncil. com, 2008) Social exclusion tends to increase with time. As people are moving up the ladder of wealth, they consider more and more people beneath them and treat them accordingly.
It has become a huge problem in many cities where people are being deprived of their basic necessities just on the basis of these presumptions and generalizations that are made. Social Inclusion and Exclusion: Social inclusion and exclusion are two phenomena that are occurring naturally among individuals as more and more information is present to filter. Social inclusion and exclusion are the two basic events that happens the most today. Social inclusion means the alienation or detachment of a certain class of society of people by another ruling or more powerful class.
It is usually connected to a person’s social that class and the background that he or she belongs to, the living standards with which they are coping, disability, minority or sex; it is almost existing in all ways discrimination is possible. Social exclusion refers to the marginalization that occurs and when certain groups of people are not able to enjoy the basic necessities or to participate fully in the societal matters are others do. Anyone who is pressurized to deviate and move away from the norms of the society is considered to be as socially excluded people.
Social exclusion occurs in different ways and is dependent on the factors that are present in the particular society. For example, in countries where there is no protection for women’s right, they are socially excluded to participate in any kinds of social gatherings and affairs in which men take active interest and participate wholly. This does not mean social exclusion doesn’t exist in places where there are proper human rights implemented. Britain, Australia, America etc all are facing similar problems of social exclusion in their respective communities in their own way.
In places where rights of women are properly guarded, people are socially excluded on the basis of social structure and class, background and ethnicity. They are deprived of opportunities that should be present to all; they are denied access to many social events and hence are a fine example of socially excluded class. Social exclusion is a multi-dimensional process, it effects all the factors of life that are present in an individual’s life if he or she is socially excluded.
This would include the economic factors such as finances and monetary help to social factors such as equal opportunity for all. This is not a process that would just affect a normal individual. However, this is reflected in the cohesion and unity of the country. If a country is facing the problem of social exclusion, their integrity and cohesion is at stake. Social Inclusion: Social inclusion is a strategy that is used in order to counteract social exclusion. They are the ways and methods through which one can avoid social exclusion.
Social exclusion methods are used by government agencies and other NGOs in order to promote the re-entry of the socially excluded classes back into their society so that they are able to flourish together as a team. Rough Sleeping: Rough sleeping is one of the results of social exclusion. It is unheard of by many in our society. Homelessness is one of the reasons that encourage rough sleeping. Rough sleeping basically means sleeping on places other than ones home. These might include sleeping on the streets, in public places. Usually this occurs when a person is homeless.
There are a number of ways to define homelessness. People are considered homeless if the accommodation that they have is not permanent, if they are living in a hostel or if they don’t have a permanent means of living. Living on the streets has its own meaning and system has its own way of working. Therefore, when a person starts living on the streets, the transition from the street to a home is usually not smooth as might be expected by many people. Since the people are accustomed to live in that particular way, it is difficult for them to adopt this new life of coziness.
There are other implications of rough sleeping and homelessness. These behaviors might result in more negative behaviors such as drinking and alcoholism. Street crimes might increase threefold in places where rough sleeping is common. These people give rise to begging and since they are living on the streets they are considered as stereotypes for beggars and are considered accordingly in the same schema. This is one of the factors that lead to their social exclusion from the masses; the place they choose to live, they are stereotyped cause of that.
CHAIN is a London Database service that records the number and statistics of rough sleepers which are about 10,000 in number. According to them, a rough sleeper is expected to be of white rather than from some other color group. This is an astonishing realization that has been put forward by the help of statistics. Nearly 90% of the population of rough sleepers or homeless people are the males of the society who have been shunned by the other members of their society and forced to live on the streets. Some of them choose to live the life of misery and nothingness in order to hide from the world.
Factors leading to Rough Sleeping: There are many factors that lead people into the life of homelessness and hence rough sleeping. Homelessness can be considered the root cause of rough sleeping as people who experience it have no choice but to choose streets as their ultimate domain for sleeping and resting. Usually, the elder people are able to get accommodation in various old age homes. Since, there is no such initiative worldwide by governments, the middle aged and young people were forced to live the life of hopelessness and shelter less.
Since they are out of money and are unable to finance their own housing, they are socially excluded from the society, without any help. Another reason that rough sleeping is increasing over the years is the increase in unemployment rates that have taken the world by storm. As the depression and recession in our economies is becoming increasingly clear, it is having an adverse effect on the labour demand, hence leading to lesser jobs and more people looking for them. In the hunt, many are left jobless and they have no way but to move to the streets in order to survive.
They are socially excluded from the circle because they are considered as unworthy beings that are not capable of getting employment. The society shuns them away as being worthless and hence they would rather prefer to live a life where they don’t have to face constant humiliation; where they can mingle with people who have similar problems. With the decrease in the benefits and other restrictions that have been laid down, rough sleeping has increased. It has been reported in London with the help of a report that the head count for the number of people who are indulging in rough sleeping is increasing with time.
Considering all the conditions, it is realized that the major problem these rough sleepers are facing is the dependency they have on their incomes and their low level incomes that don’t let them enjoy the basics of life. They are socially excluded from the society in the form of begging when they are stereotyped with beggars and hence they live their own lives in their own system. (Hill, 2006) Government Initiatives: The government has taken a number of initiatives in order to counteract the problem of rough sleeping that has been on the rise since the last decade or so.
In the late 1980s there were a significant amount of people in London who were forced to live on the streets and were begging for the basic necessities of life. However, with the help of a number of Government Funded Initiatives, the problem has been tackled carefully and slowly in order to get the maximum impact in the society. The biggest initiative in this case is the Rough Sleeper’s Initiative that has been working since 1990. This initiative was solely started in London first and then it moved onto the subsequent places where individuals were given housing facilities and helped out with their problems.
All the efforts were taken in a joint collaboration between the local and the central governments. To reach the impact that was intended, it was very important that both the government bodies get together and plan in order to get the rough sleepers out of the streets and into their homes. With the passage of time, other private organizations were also included in the system in order to work together as the team, with the efforts collaborated and working in a single direction to help the rough sleepers.
Voluntary organizations were provided special funding through the city and central governments in order to help and encourage them to get rid of the problem. There were out reach teams that were developed across the country, resettlement of many was done in order to ensure the decrease in the incidence of rough sleeping. The biggest impact of these initiatives was the in 1995; the number of rough sleepers in any given night fell from 1000 to 270. Conclusion: The basic conclusion that is drawn from the report is that homelessness is a problem that can lead to many situations with rough sleeping being the major one.
Due to homelessness, people who are homeless are socially excluded from the masses and they are forced to live a life on the streets. They are not considered as the productive part of the society and hence the basic needs are not fulfilled. They are not regarded as the active members of society and hence they opportunities that they must be getting are taken away from them. This creates a bigger gap in the society’s structure and can pose a threat to the cohesion of the country. Rough sleeping and homelessness creates a situation where an individual has nothing left to do except for wait for help or reside in the streets in order to survive.
Usually, to save themselves from ridicule, people prefer to live in the streets so that they are together with individuals who are just like them. This is one of the major reasons many rough sleepers come back to their old routine even after resettlement and rehabilitation. (Hill, 2006) Therefore, it is important that significant steps be taken in order to counter this problem. This problem has already been recognized and a number of steps have been taken by governments all around England so that they are able to increase the visibility and occurrence of rough sleepers.
The Rough sleeper’s initiative is the biggest of the lot that is a synergy unit that helps to relocate rough sleepers towards their homes. This has been done by government support and funding along with the help of voluntary organizations. It has actually termed to be fruitful and the incidence has decreased. However, one thing is to be realized that the number has decreased but has not stopped. Everyday new rough sleepers are added to the streets and hence it advises us to take precautionary measures to ensure the rights of the individuals are protected.