Homelessness is both a matter of social justice and direct, compassionate action. That's the message behind a 'Street Porridge Sale' on 12 December 2012 in support of Streetwork, a hands-on group struggling against homelessness, its causes and consequences.
Many people have not yet realised the full impact of housing benefit and other welfare reforms threatening further hardship for those already disadvantaged. On political if not humanitarian grounds, the government would do well to stop targeting those in greatest need, says Savi Hensman, examining the specific issue of housing benefit.
Yesterday (7 April 2011) Westminster City Council ignored the opposition and pressed ahead with plans for a by-law which will outlaw rough sleeping and mobile food distribution (i.e. soup runs) in a designated area around the Victoria station in London. Final decisions await a full Council meeting in May.
With temperatures unlikely to rise much above freezing, the plight of the country's thousands of homeless people has been highlighted by charity workers, who are urging local authorities to step up relief efforts.
Volunteers working with church and secular homeless relief and action groups over the Christmas period have accused the government of failing to respond adequately to the needs of rough sleepers during the cold snap.