It seems that right now everyone has an opinion on the issue of Thanet's homeless.
Bringing things to the fore, most recently, was the highly visible use the shelter on Margate seafront. Where, as we mentioned in our Facebook post homeless people were highly visible.
Thanet Council's response: board up the shelter.
Showing an alarming lack of compassion and an equal absence of any understanding, the UKIP led council applied for an eviction notice claiming that the damage and graffiti (which had been there a long time) was caused by the homeless people that had recently moved in. A TDC spokesperson cited
vandalism, graffiti and unsanitary conditions as well as
drug use as their reason for acting.
The council managed to hit every last negative stereotype without offering the slightest evidence for their claims.
There are 48 homeless people the Thanet Gazette says, in story called THEIR STORY: Coldest night of year – and 'home' is a seafront shelter.
In stark contrast to the Council's heartless claims, the homeless themselves tell the unnamed journalist that rather than damaging the space they have actually been caring for it.
We clean up with a broom every day. says Mark, 58.
We do try and keep it clean. says David, 44.
One has to wonder if the true reason for TDC acting was that the council was simply embarrassed by the visible homelessness. This blogger has serious doubts about the validity of the TDC boilerplate claims.
The public seems largely unimpressed with the council's actions. Many taking to social media to say so.
For clarity, I should point out that @Thanet is a news twitter page unconnected with TDC.
Not all the people of Thanet are as sympathetic. One stand out commenter was simply upset that the homeless were mentioned in a hotel review.
Have a heart @Bob_Thanet.
To their credit, Thanet District Council claim to have finally housed most of the homeless from the shelter. An impressive u-turn, given that four weeks ago the homeless people were saying that TDC told them that they "were not a priority".
I will be a lot more impressed when and if the council house all the homeless people in Thanet and not just the ones that are embarrassing them by being seen.
What do you think? Did TDC do the right thing, even if it was for the wrong reasons? Could TDC do more and should they have acted sooner?