Homeless people disguised as stranded tourists sleep on Heathrow's benches

Homeless people flock to London's Heathrow airport by the dozen, camouflaging themselves with Hawai'ian shirts and bum-bags and pretending to be stranded tourists so that they can sleep a warm night on an airport bench:
When TIME joined the outreach worker and police officers this week, the homeless people contacted included a man sleeping under his coat, another conspicuously hiding behind an open newspaper, and a woman clutching a duty free bag who insisted she was waiting for a flight, only to whisper when police were out of earshot: "I can't afford electricity; it's warm here; please, let me stay."

These men and women may seem to embody the English tradition of the plucky Dickensian Dodger, but it would be wrong to mistake their ingenuity for anything other than desperation, social workers say. Like those to whom the travel ads all around the airport appeal, Heathrow's homeless are also in search of escape: from debts, legal problems, family responsibilities. They often have mental health or substance abuse problems, and they often refuse help. During the day, some travel by public transport into London to beg, busk or take drugs, while others remain in the airport, sometimes scrounging food off sympathetic restaurant and cafe workers.

Link (Thanks, Marilyn!)