Courtenay’s crowdfunded book Four Feet Under, untold stories of the homeless
in London, features around 30 interviews with people living in central
London. “I’ve had hundreds of people read it and say, ‘It’s changed the way I
relate to homeless people',” says Tamsen. “But unless there’s a sea change, I can’t
see how homelessness will go away – it’s not a society that looks after its
from the homeless charity Shelter shows that the number of homeless people in
England, Scotland and Wales is increasing by more than 1,000 a month.
finds that there are 320,000 homeless people by counting people in temporary accommodation,
rough sleepers and single hostel spaces. In just one year the total number of
homeless people has increased by 13,000 and that’s without including the hidden
homeless population, such as sofasurfers. Shelter’s report also revealed that
about one in every 52 people in London is homeless.
causes are multi-faceted and complex, but include lack of supply of decent
affordable housing, lack of protection for private renters and freezes and cuts
to welfare payments,” claims Shelter.
more: Homelessness in Great Britain: the numbers behind the story (Nov
2018) on England.shelter.org.uk
reported that roughly one in every 200 people in the UK sleep rough, or are
in temporary accommodation, James Brokenshire, the well-named Secretary of
State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, was adamant the Government
could solve the crisis. Responding to the data, he said "Our
rough-sleeping strategy, support for councils and those working on the
frontline are helping to get people off the street and into accommodation as we
enter the colder winter months.” We know better.
owners have lobbied Glasgow council to act tougher on anti-social
behaviour, according to Glasgow Live. Without suggesting any initiatives
the Glasgow Action Group (GAG) was critical of MPs and the council. Local
homeless charities warned that GAG’s tone risked putting vulnerable homeless
people in danger.
than 50,000 young people facing homelessness were left without meaningful
support last year, despite approaching their local councils for help. Of the
estimated 103,000 16- to 24-year-olds seeking help from councils, the Guardian
reports that just half (48%) got any helpful advice. The research, produced
by youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, shows that those receiving help had
actually increased on the previous year (2016–17, when only 42% young people
received support). Those who had no support last year (52%) should be protected
by the new Homelessness Reduction Act, as they are guaranteed support moving forward.
But Centrepoint warns that local councils have insufficient resources to meet
the new demands.
www.gov.uk Homelessness Reduction Act A guide to the duty to refer
the Welsh government promised to allocate £10 million to help end youth
homelessness by 2027. In November Wales Online detailed that £3.7 million will go towards early intervention, boosting resources available to the
education system and youth work services.
further £4.8m will be spent on new housing options. This includes funding for
innovative ideas on housing options. £1 million will be spent on providing
basic financial support for young people. Finally, £500,000 will be split
between tenancy support and communication programmes.
to develop 35,000 new homes for social rent by 2021 is one of the most important
projects on the Scottish Government’s agenda. But by December 2018, halfway to deadline,
only 11,825 social homes had been completed.
boycott of companies, planning to donate a percentage of their Christmas
profits to the homeless charity Shelter, was launched by a group of UK
landlords. Housing industry website Property Industry Eye reveals that
the National Landlords Alliance wrote to companies, including B&Q and Marks
& Spencer, warning that they would no longer purchase products from the
stores should they donate to Shelter. B&Q hoped to raise £25,000 for
Shelter over the festive period, through sales of fairy dolls.
pop-up art exhibition was opened in December, promoting the work of homeless
artists. The exhibition, which took place in Bedford, hosted numerous
works from artists who were using the services of YMCA Bedfordshire, Emmaus
Village Carlton, Bedford Women's Refuge and the King's Arms Project, according
to the BBC. Former rough sleeper Adam had more than 12 paintings on
display and says his passion for art helped him beat his alcoholism. "We
[homeless people] have a place in society and we can do some things better than
most people. Stop the stigma,” he told the BBC.
Rights Watch has condemned the Hungarian government’s decision to
criminalise rough sleeping. The Fidesz party, led by the far-right Viktor
Orbán, first tried to criminalise rough sleeping in 2012 but was told it
“violated human dignity”, the Financial Times reported. So Orbán set
about amending the constitution.
constitutional ban came into effect in October 2018 and outlaws sleeping in a
public space. Being caught more than three times gets you taken into custody
and possessions confiscated.