A lot of people would presume that just because someone is homeless, they should accept the first thing they are offered as a roof over your head is better than no roof over your head.
Having said this, I beg to differ, so again from personal experience sometimes taking the first place that’s offered to you isn’t really a good idea in one sense but in another sense sometimes you’re forced to.
So, if you’re faced with being street homeless i.e. sleeping in shop doorways or public toilets or anywhere that’s not secure accommodation, you’re open to the elements and your life is literally in the public eye, same as your last yawn and stretch of night and everything in-between from your eating meals to personal phone calls to even your toilet breaks this is all in the public eye.
The non-homeless person or people that walk by us homeless people and look down their noses at people that are less fortunate than them would say that a homeless person should take the first thing that’s offered to them otherwise it’s their own fault that they are homeless and they don’t deserve any help.
So, in most cases yeah, I’d say this is a smart thing to do even if it’s just to get on the radar and get signposted to the right accommodation i.e. a hostel for people with more needs or shared “supported” accommodation.
There’s a flip side to this though, some places, in fact, a very large number of places that the first rung on the ladder of out of homelessness clean, full of active drink dependant people and active drug users, (some of which are genuinely trying to get clean,) but a lot of people genuinely aren’t bothered about getting clean and want to drag others down with them or try keeping people in the using cycle as a way of feeding their habits or lining their pockets.
The question of ‘is any roof better than no roof’ really doesn’t have a definitive answer – a big reason why people will accept this unsuitable accommodation is mainly because if you refuse the first offer of accommodation the council, I think, more times than not, will put it down as you’re intentionally homeless and therefore you fall to the bottom of the list of getting support.
Being homeless really is sometimes a bad catch 22 and it’s not always the rough sleeper’s fault.