Homeless agencies condemn 'live like a Paris tramp' holidays
Catholic agencies in the UK have criticised the trivialisation of the plight of the homeless through the marketing of 'rough sleeper holidays'.
Under the scheme, called: "Live Like a Tramp in Paris", Kamstra Travel in Amsterdam plans to charge tourists $816 to be dropped in groups of ten around the capital to fend for themselves for four days. Each tourist will be given a sleeping bag and a choice of either a musical instrument or drawing equipment with which to try to earn their supper. On the last night they will be taken to a good hotel and treated to a slap-up meal.
Michael Ryan, Director of London's Cardinal Hume Centre told Independent Catholic News: "This idea seems totally distasteful, from all points of view. I am very shocked. Homelessness is a very serious issue and they are trivialising it, treating it as a game. No one chooses to live on the streets."
Promoter of the scheme Lodewyk Brondyk said: "The concept of these trips is to give people a taste of what life is really like on the streets of our European cities."
Michael Ryan said: "If people are really interested in homeless people they could get involved in a centre such as ours as volunteers, work on a soup run or join a focus group," he continued.
Cardinal Hume Centre