Pete, Brick Lane Tour Guide

An Obstacle Course: Homelessness Assistance and the Right to Housing in England

You know there’s a serious problem when Amnesty International write a report about homelessness. On June 8th I attended a conference at the London office of Amnesty International to read and discuss their latest report into assistance for people suffering from homelessness and the right to living accommodation in England.

The title of the report is “An Obstacle Course: Homelessness Assistance and the Right to Housing in England”. You can download the report here.

Amnesty International’s report gives intricate explanation of routes to becoming homeless. It talks about what the government is failing to do to decrease these risks, and voices recommendations from professionals in the field, people that are currently facing homelessness, and the formerly homeless.

I don’t have enough space here to go into any great detail, but I will give you my point of view on some of the points raised. I go into more detail on my Brick Lane tour so I hope you’ll consider joining me one day soon.


Routes to homelessness include addiction and mental health issues, along with other issues including abuse. These are not taken into account properly by the “powers that be” when it comes to the human right to housing. In my humble opinion, addiction is often a way of handling the stresses and strains of life by running away from said stress. In my case, I used alcohol as a sleeping aid. An individual may already struggle with their mental health. This is exacerbated by becoming homeless, with alcohol and drug use then become a coping mechanism.

On my tour I talk about many of the issues raised in this report, and many others that are not, including the social history of women’s and workers rights, the history of immigration, and how we as a human race can make this world a better place for everyone – whatever race, creed, class and any other “differences” we possess.

You can watch the conference and Q&A session, with my (rather rambling, but emotional) statement at 28 minutes 40 seconds here.

Thanks for your time and I hope to see you on my Brick Lane tour soon!

Pete, your Brick Lane Tour Guide