Homeless in Detroit: Stacey Dooley in the USA, BBC 9pm.



Motor City Detroit no longer has motors and has lost much of its manufacturing base. About a third of its building lie empty, about 70 000 abandoned lots, many of them burned out. An estimated 20 000 homeless try to find somewhere to sleep in one of the coldest winters on record. Just when they thought things couldn’t get any worse Stacey Dooley is parachuted in to investigate. She immediately hits it off with two transgender women who are trying to sell tricks on the street. It’s fifteen below zero and figures have shrunk. They don’t score. Stacey remains chirpy. Standing next to the two transwoman, bundled up in winter garb,  she looks like a Halfling visiting the residents of Middle Earth. Jhalasia takes a bit of a shine to Stacey and take her on tour. She climbs inside an abandoned building. We see used condoms and Stacey says things like ‘I can’t believe how unbelievably cold it is’.  

    Believe Stacey, believe. Many of the shelters are run by Christian organisations. Men are separated from women. And in one shelter there are no beds but simply plastic chairs in which to sit and spend an uncomfortable night. Most of the residents seem to be black. Some of them in wheelchairs. I don’t understand the next step for those in a chair to a chair to go where? Stacey says ‘it’s shocking that this is happening in the richest nation on earth.’ Amen to that sister.

    Stacey also says that they’ve tried a new programme and it’s called giving homeless people houses! Wow. And here is the kick. It worked out cheaper and residents didn’t eat their houses or burn them down. I vote Stacey for President.