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Miss Homeless Holland

November 13th 2009
Therese van Belle was recently crowned the first 'Miss Homeless' in a contest in Belgium, winning a flat with a year's free rent into the bargain. Ms van Belle, 58, beat nine other women in a competition the organisers described as a chance for homeless women to "get themselves out of their old life and on to a new path". The women were judged after a range of different tasks, including proving their commitment to "get themselves out of a difficult situation", as well as their catwalk skills and fashion judgement. Women's rights activists have been vitriolic in their criticism of the pageant, with author Jacqueline Aubenas telling reporters: "I am outraged. These girls turned into puppets parodying their own lives - it's pathetic". Contest runner-up Leonie Renier took a different view, however. She said: "The contest is not obscene. For a homeless person to want to be beautiful is not obscene - it is the misery of life on the streets that is obscene". The contest was sponsored by local businesses, which also sat on the judging panel, along with social worker Mathilde Pelsers and her daughter Aline, who is a beauty queen. Winner Ms van Belle told reporters: "I am delighted, I've never been lucky in my life. This is the first time I've been lucky. I think my life is about to change for the better."

November 2009



Dispersal zone - a reader responds

Camden closures

Sending 'em back

London's homeless dead remembered

New dispersal zone

Tories outline firmer headcount policy

Big Issue sells office

Controlled Drinking Zone approved...

Bob Dylan donates Xmas dinner to UK homeless

Homeless murder suspect detained

RIP, Gary

Street Swags

Miss Homeless Holland

Free gym service

Homelessness on increase in Scotland

Out of the woods

Bang on target

Still on course

Bye bye Right to Buy

Government backs call for more affordable housing

More rights for tenants?

New cash for housing associations

Poverty figures

Changing Lives Award for Edinburgh woman

Veterans booklet

Street Shield 9: Battling a monster!


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© Copyright 2009-2014 The Pavement. Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656 Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760 ISSN (online) 1757-0484