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One-way ticket

November 17 2017
Leading charities have condemned local authorities for giving homeless people one-way tickets to other parts of the UK

Leading charities have condemned the practice of local authorities removing homeless people from their own areas by giving them one-way tickets to other parts of the UK.

Homeless Link, a large England-wide group of charities, have criticised the practice, with Crisis claiming local authorities are "passing the buck" on homelessess.

A BBC News enquiry found that a large number of councils have been buying one-way tickets for rough sleepers. Manchester City Council has reportedly spent almost £10,000 on these tickets in the past 6 years, but has kept no official records of how many individuals have been given the tickets.

Authorities practising the scheme claim it is used to re-connect people with areas they may have family, friends, or support networks in.

Caroline Roundhill of Bournemouth Borough Council – which has recorded 144 "reconnections" in under four years – told the Independent that their policy "involves reconnecting rough sleepers who have no local connection to Bournemouth."

“It is a planned package delivered by our rough sleeper team to connect people to where they have accommodation options and can access suitable support, liaising closely with other local authorities.”

However, one rough sleeper, Gareth Glendall-Pickton, told BBC News that he had been living in Bournemouth his whole life, but was offered a one-way ticket to Manchester despite having never even visiting the city. He said:

"It made me feel sick," he explained. "I've lived here all my life... it's soul-destroying."

Homeless Link chief executive Rick Henderson said “Simply displacing rough sleepers without offering support is not solving the issue, and at worst can exacerbate their situation, leaving them more isolated and at risk of deteriorating physical and mental health.”