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To say [22] means they are not doing their homework. The council opens extra beds for rough sleepers in the winter, and some search for a temporary sofa to sleep on, which explains why there are fewer visible at this time of year. But people like Faye, sleeping in a bin shed, and John, alone in a woodland on the outskirts of the town, are likely to have been missed.

Counted or not, the hardship of rough sleeping remains a fact of life. Unresolved personal trauma, bereavement, relationship breakdown and addiction lie, to one extent or another, in the past of every homeless person the Guardian spoke to. A simple lack of housing was often a problem too.

Down and Out

Evictions and the refusal of private landlords to take tenants on housing benefit were common. A derelict police station on the edge of the town centre frustrated many: surely places like that could be turned into a shelter. And now they face a new problem: universal credit. He is friends with Faye, 32, who sometimes sleeps alone in a disused bin store as she struggles with beating heroin addiction and serious mental health problems. It is Christmas and I am living in a tent.

Unity House is a lifeline in Chippenham and the council has recently funded 10 extra winter spaces, which has helped get some people off the streets. Avoiding that was one reason Faye said she slept in a bin shed. Homelessness seems to suck people down. Savannah, 19, has been sofa surfing after being kicked out by her mother over a disagreement about her boyfriend.


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For example, After losing his job, car, and home, he was completely down and out. This term probably originated in boxing, where it alludes to the fighter who is knocked down and stays down for a given time, thereby losing the bout. A boxer who is "down" has been knocked to the canvas, and one who is also "out" is unconscious or unable to resume the fight; thus a down-and-out boxer is utterly defeated.

down and out

AHDI states the term "probably" came from boxing, circa ; OED references boxing rather obliquely, and cites first figurative usage to Boxing , Money , Out , Sports. D 1 Thought. Add your thoughts Cancel reply.

Add down-and-out to one of your lists below, or create a new one. When disaster strikes: ways of describing bad events. Cambridge Dictionary Plus My profile How to Log out. Definitions Clear explanations of natural written and spoken English. Click on the arrows to change the translation direction.

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Down-and-Out Option Definition

C2 having no luck , no money , and no opportunities :. Nobody loves you when you're down and out.

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics: Unemployment. I was never a down-and-out, but it did start to look that way.