This is from Kate Belgrave‘s blog
I have been speaking with people who are homeless and who don’t have a fixed address.
They say that they can’t get or keep the benefits that they need.
The DWP says – of course – that things there is a system that homeless people can use to claim benefits and that the system works well.
I have doubts about that.
Last week, I spoke with three street homeless men in Manchester who all said – separately and adamantly – that they couldn’t and didn’t sign on for jobseekers’ allowance, because they didn’t have an address. I wasn’t actually looking to ask people about that in the first instance. The subject just kept coming up. I’ve been out in various parts of Manchester in the evenings talking with some of the people here who are street homeless. There are longer extracts from a couple of these interviews at the end of this article. We talked about housing benefit too, which obviously has address implications, but we were discussing JSA and ESA in this context:
“I’ve got nothing. I can’t claim benefits, because I’ve no address…You used to be able to sign on and they would give you so much money every day. Not any more. That’s all gone. Doesn’t exist anymore, that. Doesn’t exist.” Paul, 56, Deansgate, Thursday evening.
“You can’t claim dole, because you need a letterbox to get ID, but you need ID to get a letterbox…So all is as left is to beg, yeah…[I’ve been doing this for] five years…At the beginning, I had bags and bags of stuff. I had all me ID and that…[but] because you can’t look after it all the time, you stash it and other homeless people find it and… [shrugs].” Darren, 44, outside the Arndale Centre on Tuesday.
“I’m not going to get any benefits until you (sic) get an address.” Tom, 24, near Piccadilly station, Tuesday evening.