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Homelessness in Sweden (Stockholm)

007
post 1.Jul.2006, 12:31 PM
Post #1
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Apr.2006

Faithless' encounter of a homeless woman and Stenis' post about the homeless in Stockholm reminded me that the homeless situation in Sweden is both underappreciated and largely misunderstood by swedes and non-swedes alike.

i got involved in the homeless issues of stockholm a few years ago more by accident than out of the goodness of my heart. it lead to a great experience of dispelling myths and gaining insight.

first off, there is homelessness in a society that takes care of its population. most of the homeless have "fallen through the cracks." the areas of improvement are often as simple as filling in some of those cracks.

homelessness isn't only about sleeping on the streets. many of the "homeless" have no permanent homes. also many of the homeless suffer either from drug addiction and/or mental illness.

Stenis mentioned some good ways to help by buying a copy of Stockholm Situation. Personally I'm not a big fan of stockholm stadsmission though they have their heart in the right place, the cafe in gamla stan is very nice. I have worked a bit with Convictus www.convictus.org they are great to contact if you want to donate or volunteer.

i don't know if this will spark any discussion, but being stuck at home on a glorious day...one must find ways to pass the time :wink:

edited to correct link
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*Sitri*
post 1.Jul.2006, 12:41 PM
Post #2


I'd like to volunteer but the link you posted doesn't work.
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*Jones*
post 1.Jul.2006, 12:44 PM
Post #3


Take away the final dot

www.convictus.org
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*Sitri*
post 1.Jul.2006, 12:48 PM
Post #4


Thank you! biggrin.gif
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*Vicis Patronus*
post 1.Jul.2006, 12:55 PM
Post #5


There are also people who are homeless by choice. The state can only help those who wants to be helped.
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007
post 1.Jul.2006, 01:14 PM
Post #6
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Apr.2006

while there's some truth to that, there are also more complex circumstances behind it. often the choice to remain "homeless" is made because the proposed solution is not a better alternative --and the reasons and the explanations vary.

also the help proposed is too little too late. when a drug addict comes to the "system" and says..."i've had enough, i need help, i'm ready to get clean" and the "system" says..."terrific. we have no spot for you now, but if you come back in 6-18 months we'll try to fit you in. please leave us an address where we can reach you" you realize that the reality of the problem and the distance of the problemsolvers from the problem prevents true intervention.
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*Sitri*
post 1.Jul.2006, 01:14 PM
Post #7


QUOTE (Theteenagediplomat)
There are also people who are homeless by choice.

Some are, most aren't.
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*Vicis Patronus*
post 1.Jul.2006, 01:19 PM
Post #8


I know that there are plenty of homeless who doesn't want to be homeless. But I've also seen documentaries, where they have interviewed some homeless that say that they will never use the state to help them. And your hands are tied then. Some homeless have also said that they don't like the homes that the state offer. But the situation must be improved for sure.
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007
post 1.Jul.2006, 01:22 PM
Post #9
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Apr.2006

you may have watched documentaries. i've had cups of coffee and eaten my 10kr lunch with them. i've worked with the people at convictus who try to help their guests.

how would you propose to improve the situation?
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*Vicis Patronus*
post 1.Jul.2006, 01:27 PM
Post #10


QUOTE (007)
you may have watched documentaries. i've had cups of coffee eaten my 10kr lunch with them. i've worked with the people at convictus who try to help their guests.

how would you propose to improve the situation?

Well I have mixed feelings when it comes to the homeless. They deserve help, but it doesn't help being rude. Once there was this old lady who had dirty clothes, and looked like a homeless, and she asked me for money, and I told her that I could buy her a meal instead, and she told me to go to hell. Some of the homeless can afford to buy alcohol, drugs etc, so we could start by trying to solve that as well. Just like my basic take on everything, the social problems is the root of every problem. They deserve a good life just like everyone else, and it's not acceptable that the state doesn't help the ones who want help. We could adjust the laws to force the regions to deal with it. The problem as always is also to find a job, that could probably change the situation for a lot of them.
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007
post 1.Jul.2006, 01:34 PM
Post #11
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Apr.2006

well, a good start would be if the politicians in their ivory towers, totally out of touch of the reality of the problem get to know the reality.

and then acknowledge the magnitude and the extent of the problem.

i don't think that politicians don't want to help. i think they don't know how to help.
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Toronto1
post 1.Jul.2006, 01:55 PM
Post #12
Joined: 22.Jun.2006

I work in downtown Toronto. I see homelessness all the time. People live everywhere within the city. Some need help greatly, some have substance abuse problems and some are EDP.
Now the City supplies the necessary services for these people. At a great cost to the taxpayers.
They can get food, shelter, smokes and alcohol. The alcohol is for people who have the shakes so bad that that's the only thing that will make them straight.
But some people also pose as homeless people and do it for the money. In one case, The shakey lady'" see would pose as a sickly homeless woman and she made alot of money. But the a local newspaper exposed her as a fraud. She had a nice apartment, a car and a big screen tv just outside of Toronto that she shared with her son.
She also got into trouble with the police after she assaulted a woman that stopped another woman from giving her money.
So it goes to show, don't judge a book by its cover.
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007
post 1.Jul.2006, 02:01 PM
Post #13
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Apr.2006

yeah, and it's always helpful to the people in real need to expose the one fraud to warn anyone interested in helping out and plant suspicion and perpetuate fear.
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*High Priestess Kang*
post 1.Jul.2006, 02:24 PM
Post #14


It comes down to this. You see a beggar on the street. The beggar is either truly destitue or a grifter/scam artist. You have a choice. You can give him a dollar, which means...what to you exactly...or you can move on cluttered by bitterness and suspicion in your soul. You can fret over where that dollar is going or you can bring the person a meal. You can make arm-chair observations or you can work in a soup kitchen or donate more money to a charity willing to take action and work with the homeless.

I have fed the homeless before. I will do it again. I have given the homeless spare change. I will do it again. Is it worth sacrificing my charity in the name of pride? No. I can afford to help and I do so willingly and happily.

To say that people are homeless because of choice is correct to an extent. They could have avoided the first needle, first drink, the first bad decision that led them down the path to poverty. How many bad choices have you made, though?

And let us not forget the afflictions of the homeless. The mental illnesses that cause people to slip through the cracks of whatever social programs exist. No system is perfect and people suffer.

Nothing upsets me more than indifference from fellow man...those who complain about social ills but do nothing to remedy them. You have a dollar, a dollar, a quarter...whatever...to spare. Is it going to kill you to do something charitable with it? Or...are you going to allow pride and fear of being taken to come between you and doing something good for someone who cannot help himself?
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*Sitri*
post 1.Jul.2006, 02:30 PM
Post #15


Before we left the UK we came unnervingly close to homelessness ourselves, and would have had a harder time surviving without the kindness of our neighbours As someone once said most of us live one pay check away from the streets.
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