Lavane was married in an abusive relationship for ten years. The last time the domestic violence was so bad Lavane was hospitalized. Upon release, Lavane went home, grabbed her dog, and has been homeless sleeping rough in Central London ever since.
Please know that Lavane is safe from her partner. As a rule, we never post interviews with domestic violence victims unless the person is safe. Sadly, although Lavane is not at risk of further abuse from her partner, she is still sleeping rough. Rough sleepers face all kinds of danger every day, and it’s especially hard for elderly and women sleeping rough.
Lavane’s dog is her life. Lavane says she would never be able to survive homelessness if it wasn’t for her dog. Sadly, the London hostels (UK term for homeless shelters) that allow pets are all full. Like many homeless people, Lavane would rather sleep outside than separate from her dog.
While recording this interview, a woman came up to Lavane, scolding her for having a dog outside. The woman was obviously more concerned about the animal’s wellbeing than Lavane being homeless. I love animals and currently take care of my mother’s dog, but I don’t think I will ever understand how some people care more for pets than humans. And if you’re one of the people who care more for a dog than a homeless person, then let’s get both inside. Housing ends homelessness for both people and their pets.
Lavane survives by food and soup runs in Central London and begging for money. She says some regulars come and bring her blankets and dog food. There’s lots of controversy over public feedings. Many homeless service providers are against homeless people getting food and sleeping bags, saying the charity enables them to be homeless, but the real truth is people need to survive. Since there are not enough shelter beds, housing, or support services, we cannot just leave people to die outside.
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About Invisible People
There is a direct correlation between what the general public perceives about homelessness and how it affects policy change. Most people blame homelessness on the person experiencing it instead of the increasing shortage of affordable housing, lack of employment, a living wage or the countless reasons that put a person at risk. This lack of understanding creates a dangerous cycle of misperception that leads to the inability to effectively address the root causes of homelessness.
We imagine a world where everyone has a place to call home. Each day, we work to fight homelessness by giving it a face while educating individuals about the systemic issues that contribute to its existence. Through storytelling, education, news, and activism, we are changing the narrative on homelessness.
This isn’t just talk. Each year, our groundbreaking educational content reaches more than a billion people across the globe. Our real and unfiltered stories of homelessness shatter stereotypes, demand attention and deliver a call-to-action that is being answered by governments, major brands, nonprofit organizations, and everyday citizens just like you.
However, there is more work to be done on the road ahead. Homelessness is undoubtedly one of our biggest societal issues today and will only continue to grow if we don’t take action now.
Invisible People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about homelessness through innovative storytelling, news, and advocacy. Since our launch in 2008, Invisible People has become a pioneer and trusted resource for inspiring action and raising awareness in support of advocacy, policy change and thoughtful dialogue around poverty in North America and the United Kingdom.