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Alex Donkor shares his reflections on 7th anniversary of Cardon's body being found

The inexpressible anguish of homelessness


It is quite unfortunate for families and individuals to find themselves in informal settlements,

or inadequate housing and have to do without the essential services.


Housing, as a matter of fact, is an inalienable human right and therefore the absence of the

full enjoyment of such right is a complete departure from the norm.


A home, so to speak, should be seen as a safe haven- a place for families and individuals to

lay their heads, live in peace, and dignity.


That being said, according to the United Nations, more than 1.8 billion people, regrettably,

live in informal settlements or inadequate housing with circumscribable access to basic

services such as water and sanitation, electricity, and are more often than not face the threat

of forced eviction.


In the United Kingdom for instance, the Office for National Statistics figures, unfortunately,

show exponential increases in both rough sleeping and statutory homelessness in 2022.


The reported 2022 figures of 3069 rough sleeping and 271000 statutory homeless people are

really alarming.


Homelessness, to some extent, can lead to total isolation, deteriorating physical and mental

health, and extraneous intake of illicit drugs with irrevocable consequences.


It is not an exaggeration to venture to stress that homeless people face inexpressible anguish

day in and day out, with an incontrovertible evidence of inexplicable deaths now and then.


Take, for example, the Office for National Statistics figures show that more than 1,300

homeless people in the UK died in 2022, with deaths steadily increasing in England year on

year.


In 2021, there were an estimated 741 deaths of homeless people in England and Wales, with a

95% confidence interval of 658 to 824 estimated deaths.


There were 688 estimated homeless deaths in 2020, with a 95% confidence interval of 624 to

752.


The Office for National Statistics report indicates that almost two in five deaths of homeless

people were related to drug poisoning in 2021 (259 estimated deaths; 35.0% of the total

number), consistent with previous years.


There were an estimated 99 suicide deaths and 71 alcohol-specific deaths, accounting for

13.4% and 9.6% of deaths respectively.


In sum, the issue of homelessness should be of grave concern to every ideologue of social

justice, and therefore it is a step in the right direction to join forces with the homeless

exponents like the Cardon Banfield Foundation to fight for the cause of the homeless people.


Alex Donkor

Blog Writer

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