This is really helpful. I had no idea the hostels were so expensive. I live in a seaside city with so many homeless and so much begging and I never know whether to give or not. The taboo subject is the drug and alcohol abuse where I live and I think this often prevents people giving. But as someone pointed out to me, sleeping rough has got to be terrifying, noisy and often inclement - hell, we all open the wine just to get over a hard day at the office! Can you imagine being on a pavement in the dead of nigh? Absolutely terrifying. Plus, the homelessness is often just a symptom of a larger problem, rather than a cause. Walk a mile in a man's shoes 'n all.
Amy Varle is a social innovator and passionate advocate for homeless people