Please forgive me from straying from my usual style of Blog and I hope you will understand why.
At this time of the year there is a good deal of attention paid by the Media to those folk who are Homeless, Charities redouble there efforts to make us aware of the plight suffered by many. Often referred to as Rough Sleepers the issue is much deeper than that…it is a very real and growing problem for individuals and families in the UK.
Many seem to dismiss the Homeless.. its their own fault. Well for a growing number of individuals and families it is a situation far from there own making.
For many years Charities have taken the strain and local governments have struggled to keep up. Our National Government seems to have taken an arms length policy saying it is local issue to be solved. Yet the Government has been starving those that are providing that support of vital cash, cash that underpins their work. At a growing time of need they effectively reduce the support, not by a little but progressively by a lot.
Changes to Benefit schemes seem to be adding to family wows, employment conditions that have gone backwards in quality, lower pay, uncertain hours of work, security. A Housing Shortage, of both affordable housing and social housing, which in turn has seen private landlords hiking up Rents way above natural inflation.
Homelessness is a terrible situation to be in for any individual….but there are now many families who have to live in B&B accommodation. BUT even then it is not secured or guaranteed, often requiring families to move every night to different accommodation. Constantly on the move taking all there possessions with them.
I am aware that there are folk in other parts of the World that suffer, not just from being homeless but also enduring the ravages of war or natural disasters. Indeed our Government is usually quick to respond with aid and support where ever it is able and is right to do so.
Which begs the question…..why at the end of 2018, in a country with an economy that the Government insists is the 5th largest in the world, is the Issue of Homelessness such a growing problem. It is a problem this Government has made worse. It states it wants to reduce homelessness by 2021 but appears to do little to solve the issue, yet predicts further funding cuts…….NO its not a problem…. its a tragedy.
(C) David Oakes 2018