Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Oi, mate, I\'m A8: day centres

September 25 2009
Are homeless day centres acting "illegally" for helping new A8 migrants? A London council has been telling a homeless day centre that they are acting "illegally" for helping the new arrivals from Eastern Europe, popularly known as the "A8s". Is this right? According to one worker at a day centre, the council said they shouldn't be providing any basic services such as food and shelter. This leaves those on the street in a ridiculous situation. They can't get benefits without having worked legally for two years, they have no access to accommodation and nothing to eat. But they do have access to 'meaningful occupation' and access to computers to seek employment. This invokes visions of starving men typing out CVs on the computer. Some readers have come to England with the promise of work and accommodation that never materialised, others came on a whim, thinking that the streets were paved with gold. Some have been here for two years and have got into the itinerant lifestyle that is rough sleeping, alcoholism or begging without access to any state support. This is an absurd situation for people in need. They need fair access to services just like the rest of us.