‘When I zipped up my tent on that first night sleeping rough, I felt no despair… I was just another care leaver who had lost control of his life.’ As a care-leaver who has experienced homelessness, award-winning investigative journalist Daniel Lavelle has spent his life navigating social services that are not fit for purpose and leave many vulnerable people slipping through the cracks. For though the right to adequate housing is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the reality is another, much grimmer, story.
In Down and Out, Daniel draws on his own experiences, as well as those of the witty, complex, hopeful individuals he has encountered who have been shunned or forgotten by the state that is supposed to provide for them, in order to shine a powerful light on this world. Down and Out is a true state-of-the-nation examination of modern homelessness, assessing its significance, its precursors and causes, as well as the role played by government, austerity, charities, and other systems in perpetuating this crisis. Ultimately, it seeks to ask how we as a society might change our practices and attitudes so that one day we might bring it to an end.