A DAY OF ACTION
Yesterday, Your Place joined with Citizens UK and dozens of other community organisations tackling homelessness in a day of action.
Together, we urged government officials to build upon the success of the Everyone In scheme and to continue to include people with no recourse to public funds in future homelessness support schemes, as a ‘moral and public health priority’.
Two residents of Your Place, who have no recourse to public funds, shared their experiences of homelessness with BBC London News. Catatlin said, “life on the streets is not so easy, it’s very dangerous. But now I’m happy to have accommodation. The staff here have tried to find me a job and help me recover my life back”. In terms of the toll homelessness can take on your mental health, Robertas shared that, “emotionally it’s really hard, when you realise you’ve got nothing. That’s really depressing”.
As part of the day of action, Amanda Dubarry, our Chief Executive, joined other community leaders in delivering a card and gift to Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, to thank him for his decisive action during this pandemic. Amanda told the BBC, “None of us came into this to be advising people where’s the safest bridge to sleep under. We have to be in a position in 21st century England, where people aren’t left in abject poverty and destitution”.
The Everyone In initiative, championed by Robert Jenrick, undoubtedly saved lives and helped to reduce the spread of Covid-19 amongst some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. Thousands had the opportunity to sleep safely in temporary accommodation, rather than on the streets. However, the work is not done, and we would like policy makers to continue to include those with no recourse to public funds in future measures to tackle street homelessness.
The government has proved this country has the resources and the capacity to support people off the streets and into emergency accommodation, at short notice. If these actions can be taken when public health is at risk, surely there is scope for people experiencing street homelessness, to be housed on a more permanent basis, including those with no recourse to public funds.
All people deserve dignity, respect and access to safe housing – during and after this pandemic. It was inspiring to see over 100 individuals and groups – from a range of backgrounds, faiths and locations – come together yesterday to express their solidarity with people experiencing homelessness and their commitment to make change happen. Together on a video conference, they watched a live-stream of the action in Westminster and discussed why this work is so important and the personal action they will take in support.
Amanda said, “We cannot end rough sleeping without having a solution which enables people with No Recourse to Public Funds to access housing. It’s vital that people sleeping rough do not return to the streets during a global pandemic. Access to housing should be a basic human right and if we want to live in civilised and a humane society this must become our shared vision”.
If you would like to stand with us and bring hope to someone without a safe place to call home this winter, please co-sign our card to Robert Jenrick, designed by artist Nana Adusei, a resident at a supported accommodation provider in Ilford.
Please also watch this fantastic video, created by Citizen’s UK, which features one of our residents Catalin – and share the following Tweet:
The Government’s #EveryoneIn scheme meant 90% of homeless people were housed at the start of this pandemic. Sign our card to @RobertJenrick and ask that people who are homeless with no recourse to public funds continue to be supported. http://bitly.com/cardtorobertjenrick. #EndHomelessness