Housing and the homeless

The father and his daughter, sleeping in a stable at Christmas

The Guardian, December 24 1990
Published on Christmas Eve

It was a bad night in Bethlehem when a couple of travelers found themselves forced by a housing crisis to sleep in a lowly cattle shed. Yet, on an ordinary night in England nearly two thousand years later, Jake Sudworth frequently has to do the same.

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Homeless in Brighton

The Guardian, May 25 1991

Brighton is a plump little town. In a survey last year, academics at Reading University analysed the wealth of all the major towns and cities of Europe and discovered that only 18 towns in the whole continent were richer than Brighton and that in the United Kingdom, there was none to match its wealth.

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The big thing about the Big Issue

The Guardian, May 1 1994

The Big Issue is famous for rescuing homeless people. Two thousand men, women and runaway adolescents now sell the magazine on the streets where they sleep and earn themselves enough money to survive. But it ought to be famous for something else: the Big Issue is just about the last refuge of honest, angry, investigative journalism. And there's a lesson in that.

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Poor People series 1 - the homeless man and the lost girl

The Guardian, August 27 1994

Bob Easton was half asleep the first time he saw her. He was lying in the doorway of the Vaudeville Theatre on the Strand, well wrapped up in his sleeping bag and his blankets, and on an ordinary night he would probably have been fast asleep by now. But it was Friday, the worst night of the week on the streets, when you're more likely than ever to get a kick in the ribs from some lager lover, so...

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Poor People series 5 - helping the hopeless

The Guardian, September 1 1994

They were an odd couple. He looked about 20, she seemed a little younger but, although they were adults, they had the look of lost infants, straying together through the streets of Sheffield, clutching each other for safety, wide-eyed and aimless, drifting towards the sound of a Salvation Army band, and when one of the Salvation Army officers got them talking, he heard a story that was just as...

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Poor Places series 3 - the doctor's surgery

The Guardian, July 19 1995

At first, when she walks in to see Dr Dowson, her problem seems quite clear: she has two small boys who are as mad as monkeys. They slide and wrestle around the floor, they yell and scream, they drag anything loose off Dr Dowson's desk and start a tug-of-war with his stethoscope, while she sits with her shoulders slumped and says that she gets headaches and needs some tablets.

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Punished for being poor

The Guardian, April 14 2004

For £400, Allan Seymour would stop breaking the law. He's been breaking it now for 34 years. He's been punished with fines, punished in the community, punished in prison. Everybody is always telling that him they're going to rehabilitate him - he's done all the courses. But here he is: 53 years old and up in court yet again. All for want of £400.

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Desperately seeking Seymour as £2000 goes begging

The Guardian, June 22 2004

Somewhere in some dark corner of this country, there is an impoverished and homeless man who does not know that he has been given a bank account full of cash which could change his life.

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One little river - one big story of drought, pollution and flood

The Guardian, October 8 2015
This is an unedited version of the story published by The Guardian

This begins with a man in the street. I often used to notice him, because he looked so out of place. In amongst the townies with their anoraks and sensible shoes, he was blatantly a country man in weather-beaten tweeds and clumpy boots. More than that, he seemed to come from another era, a big stocky man with white whiskers running down both sides of his round ruddy face, like a yeoman farmer from...

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