Homelessness in Croydon today is “much, much worse” than it was 40 years ago.
That’s according to Jad Adams, the chair of Croydon Nightwatch, who has been a volunteer with the charity since 1979 and has seen the devastating impact of austerity and benefit “reforms” on the lives of thousands of families and individuals in the borough over the last decade.
Adams was talking on Under The Flyover, the latest podcast from Inside Croydon, which is available exclusively to patrons of this website.
Get a flavour of the podcast here…
In his interview, Adams talks about his work as a Fleet Street journalist and television producer and as a political biographer of, among others, Tony Benn and Gandhi and the Nehru dynasty.
But it is in discussing his work with Nightwatch where Adams offers a startling insight into the state of grinding poverty that many
“Things have got much, much worse for the homeless generally,” Adams said when asked to compare the situation facing Nightwatch compared to when he started volunteering with them 40 years ago.
“A lot of the people we’re seeing now are living in squats, they’re living in overcrowded accommodation or they’re living in hostels. Those places can be really a problem – there can be poor facilities, there’s sometimes bullying, drug use… people can be in there for five… seven years before there’s any kind of move-on accommodation.
“And we’re having real problems finding move-on accommodation for people because accommodation is in such short supply.”
Croydon Nightwatch receives no grants or money from Croydon Council or government agencies, and depends entirely on the goodwill of locals and the hard-work of its volunteers to help people in need.
Croydon Nightwatch’s annual appeal begins during the Harvest Festival period in the next month or so, and Adams appeals to iC readers to visit the charity’s website to discover what items they might be able to donate towards the charity’s work, or even sign up, as he once did all those years ago, as a volunteer.
To discover more about Croydon Nightwatch’s work and its appeal, click here.
This is all on our latest Under The Flyover podcast. Co-produced with Tim Longhurst, formerly of Croydon Radio, now behind NowCroydon, it is content to complement our website reporting and features.
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Read Jad Adams’ review of a new book about homelessness in London, Skint Estate, by clicking here
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