Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Street tension

May 21 2009
A reader writes about the growing number of Eastern Europeans at some soup runs Dear Editor, I've been on the streets for five years and even in that time seen a lot of changes, mostly for the worst. Now, we're being swamped by Eastern Europeans. It's worst at some food handouts, like Victoria, where we used to queue with others sleeping out, have a chat and get food. It was civilized. Now, at some handouts, it's a free-for-all, with the Eastern Europeans pushing to the front and grabbing as much as they can. I now avoid these ones, and know others have also switched. These services were set up for the homeless, and now we're being forced out by these recent arrivals. John Smith (real name supplied) West End Dear John, We're printing your letter as it's a commonly heard complaint. It's true that the numbers of 'recent arrivals' is still very high on the streets, and whereas it is presently made up of Polish and Lithuanian migrants, in future we are likely to see the numbers rise higher still with more from Bulgaria and Romanian. And many are homeless and so fulfil the criteria laid down by many operating soup runs. If there is a reduction in manners at the runs, it should be put down to cultural differences, and we must bear in mind that this situation has arisen because of the lack of state provision and planning. As reported in a past issue, charities across Western Europe are having to deal with the increase in A8 immigration, as most states have not made plans to cope with those that can come into the country to work, but cannot claim benefits. And as we said then, we say now: it is up to readers on both sides to show understanding and consideration. The Editor