Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Feeling the crunch

May 23 2009
A reader with no savings or prospects is immune to the credit crunch - in fact, he‘s enjoying it! Dear Sir, I'm writing to confess: I'm enjoying the credit crunch, and not because I'm being uncharitable, vindictive or have a feeling of schadenfreude. It's just that I find myself in a position where without savings or prospects, I'm immune to the financial meltdown that's shaking the country to its boots. I've recently come back onto the streets from a hostel (which I was asked to leave), and find something refreshing in the fact that economic Armageddon will not affect me, as I've no savings and very little in the bank. I've not yet sorted out my benefits. However, I'm not blind to the possible ripple effects that it might have on those of us living on the streets. First, I can see the number of Eastern Europeans increasing suddenly, as many working on short-term construction contracts will find themselves out of work with the strangulation of investment in that industry. I'd expect to see these numbers rise very soon and very high. Secondly, I can also see our numbers increase as across the country as homes are repossessed, businesses fail and the economic downturn generally exposes gaps in lives that would remain hidden in times of plenty. Now, I'm sure we'll see these effects come soon, if they aren't already occurring, but I'd like to know what those who think they'll have eradicated the homeless by 2012 are planning to do now. Is this target based on continued economic growth and the proportionate money coming from government to make it possible, or is it recession-proof? In the current climate, it's hard to believe that they still think this date realistic. Peter By email Dear Peter, You've raised an interesting question about the plans to end rough sleeping by 2012, and if we're entering a recession, then certainly, the target is even harder to achieve. We'll ask those coordinating this campaign, and hope to have an answer in the December issue. Editor