After a visit to the Royal Institution last night to hear a talk by Roger Penrose, I was a approached by a homeless person claiming they were a Afghan war veteran. I have been approached before in the Green Park Area and in and around the Strand near the IET Savoy Place Building.
Now I agree there will be some homeless people willing to lie and make up a military history to gain sympathy.
If such homeless people are really veterans then they can call the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) and I am told they will be offered help no matter how deep the hole they are in. Some may be too proud or confused or whatever to engage or understand what help is available to them.
Free Phone: 0800 169 2277
Apparently the SPVA can verify if the person in question really was a member of the armed forces. There are many reasons for people becoming homeless, but having previously served in the military, and losing or not being able to find a role in civilian society should not be one of them, in my opinion.
If the homeless people are not ex-service personnel then part of their recovery process is to start coming to terms with the truth about how and why they became homeless, and this may help them locate the right avenues for help in their particular cases (assuming they want help). A few people becoming more knowledgeable about this and engaging with the homeless in London, and elsewhere, (before it starts getting really cold) will help I think.