Homelessness in US vs UK

In NYC we count by hand. I’ve thought about volunteering for it a few times, but they do it when it’s cold.

Of course they do it when it’s cold. It’s the same reason the main voting day in America is when it’s cold. Cold means more people find a warm place to be/stay.

I think I’ve told the story on this forum before, but visiting the west coast of America for the first time was a revelation in terms of homelessness.

I’d seen in movies where someone has something like a briefcase of money then need to get rid of, so they look around for someone to give it to, and there just happens to be a bearded man waiting at some traffic lights with a sign saying “homeless veteran, please give kindly”.

I always thought “wow, that’s unlikely!” but for the sake of a fun moment in a movie, I just let it slide.

That was until I visited Portland and went on a bike ride. Along many stretches or roads, every single traffic light had at least one and often multiple homeless veterans. I asked the local people I was staying with about the situation, and they didn’t seem to understand what I was asking about. The homeless veterans at the traffic lights were literally part of the background experience of the city.

Then in San Francisco, when I wasn’t stepping around human excrement on the pavements, I was stepping around actual homeless people laying on the street. When I asked people about it there, it was a real topic of conversation!

In the UK, homelessness is a real problem, but it’s mostly a problem for the people who are homeless. It’s not a huge burden on society as such. On the west coast of America, homelessness is a problem for everyone. It’s a crazy situation.


It should be noted that while the US has been addressing it’s homelessness issue recently (see Fig 1.4 of this HUD report) Britain is doing not so much.

Sure. Yay America.

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Well, you said it best.


I’ve already said it:

“ Ah yes, the American way! Our problems aren’t bad if other countries also have a version of that same problem! Their scale and their impact aren’t an issue, as long as they are similar!”


“ Your attempt to see this as competition about bragging is exactly my point “Yay, America” comment. It’s not about “other places are also bad”, it’s about duty of care.”

I’m not very interested in arguments with Americans equivocating about the problems of homelessness in the west coast of America.

You’re replying to posts I made saying the difference in scale means a difference of quality.

I’m saying that ignoring that scale and trying to make arguments about the quality is exactly the attitude that is the very representation of the breakdown of civil society in America.

Don’t take it personally, as I’m addressing every American on the forum.

Yeah so bring some numbers to prove there’s a difference in scale.

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If you think about it, England is already kind of involved and relevant to the thread, because after all, what is America if not England’s most successful export?


Did you read the last few posts in the thread? Where I had the same conversation about numbers with someone else? 4,000 people in the UK sleeping rough in total with hundreds in cars vs 16,000 in LA alone sleeping in cars?

Did you read the original post in the thread that used people living in cars as one of the main signs of the collapse of civil society in America?

It’s okay to not read this stuff, or not want to admit the problems in America, but I don’t think it should be up to me to talk you into it. It’s all right there.

But that’s what this entire thread is about.

OK so here’s the thing, I’m not trying to be defensive about America, I’m trying to be offensive against the UK. There are plenty of countries I’m willing to take shit from – Finland, Nepal, and New Zealand off the top of my head – but if I’m gonna be real, the Star Spangled Banner is no more or less of a hate symbol than the Union Jack.

Right. But the question wasn’t about Finland. It was about the UK. Dazzle lives in London. He asked if the UK should be added to this thread, and I’m explaining why not.

Putting aside gun violence and homelessness,
If the UK disbanded the NHS and took away everyone’s four weeks of paid vacation time, then we can start thinking about putting the UK in this thread.

You see?

That is the reality of the conversation we are having here. It’s a specific question with specific answers, not “me throwing shit” and not “you taking shit”.

Yeah, I see. England gets to enslave millions, displace even more through colonization, and reap the benefits to build a mostly functioning society and gets to go without criticism.

Your gaslighting is exhausting

Yes. It’s called compartmentalizing. It means that not every conversation about every topic is overtaken by conversations about other topics.

As someone who moved away from England 15 years ago and just got citizenship in a different country so I never have to live in the country again, I agree with you: fuck England. I could list all the things I hate about it and all the reasons why I want to live in Germany instead.

But very few of those reasons have much relation on the particular issues pertinent to America, as broadly outlined in the first post in this thread.

The conversations about what ails the UK at the moment is different conversation. It’s okay for it to be a different conversation!

Sorry. But I’d just made three posts explicitly outlining the numbers I was taking about, and was asked to do so again. That’s tiring too.

Compartmentalizing is toxic in politics. It implies that certain issues are not related when everything in the world is related. Intersectionality is here whether you want it or not.

You’re not convincing me of anything I don’t already know. Of course it is all connected! But not every conversation about one thing in politics has to become the same conversation every time!

That was the question I was answering!

“Is this the same conversation?”

“No, its a different conversation.”

Not “is the entire world connected through its shared history?” Because then the answer is yes.

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But why are you so hostile to having this conversation?

What conversation?

I’m not trying to be snarky. What conversation do you want?

As far as I know, I’m trying to point out to someone in the UK that the conversation and considerations about gun control and gun violence in the UK are different to those in America.

And that the conversations about homelessness in LA, and the solutions to those problems, are different than those in the UK.

If you want another conversation, you’ve got to say what that conversation is. It can’t be “the problems of homelessness in the UK and Los Angeles are the same” because that is the opposite of what I was trying to communicate with Dazzle, and you need something to back that up.