Presentation on theme: "Responding to homelessness - changing lives for the better Alison Gelder."— Presentation transcript:
Responding to homelessness - changing lives for the better Alison Gelder
Housing Justice Giving voice to Christian concerns on homelessness and bad housing. Homelessness Sunday / Poverty and Homelessness Action Week Policy and campaigning Practical support to churches + others involved in responding to homelessness Other projects: Faith in Affordable Housing, Just Housing Account
Poverty and Homelessness Action Week 2009 Kirkbymoorside sponsored sleep out
Poverty and Homelessness Action Week 2009 – Voices from the edge
Who is homeless? 500(+) Rough sleepers 67,000 Households in Temporary Accommodation 400,000+ Hidden homeless people 1.77m Households on LA waiting lists 565,000 Overcrowded households Migrants, asylum seekers & refugees Travellers
Headline causes 7% financial problems 38% thrown out 19% relationship breakdown (13% involving domestic abuse) 11% end of shorthold tenancy Alienation – mental distress Drugs, alcohol Institutions e.g. care, prison, armed forces Migration Lack of affordable housing!
Rough Sleeping Only the most visible form of homelessness Housing only part of the story Whose problem?
Assistance when homeless Local Authority has legal duty to house applicant if can satisfy 5 tests: 1.Homeless 2.Eligible for assistance 3.Priority need – vulnerability 4.Not intentionally homeless e.g. evicted 5.Local connection
Not in priority need… Most single people not considered “in priority need” Voluntary sector provision 1.Hostels and other accommodation 2.Other support and services according to need 3.Day centres, drop ins, outreach Private sector e.g. private landlords Church responses
Rough Sleepers Strategy New strategy (November 2008) “Communities ending rough sleeping: no one left out” www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/roughsleepingstrategy Supports coordinated local action Partnerships New emphasis on prevention – a strengthened safety net
Church responses Called to serve people who are poor, disadvantaged, on the margins Befriending and Hospitality Church linked Projects Advocacy, action, call to challenge injustice
Not unequivocal NIMBYism Hostels may not be welcome Local opposition to affordable/social housing Knotty issues e.g. begging Role of the church vs. state? Not always equipped to respond to complex needs
Conflicting agendas Church mission v. local authority strategy Tougher enforcement Funding and Commissioning outcomes Undocumented = unwelcome Asylum seekers and refugees Homeless new EU citizens e.g. Polish
Critique of Church action 1.Uncoordinated action is ineffective, counter productive. 2.“Collusion” in unhealthy and anti- social lifestyles 3.Limited capacity to address real needs 4.No connectedness with other services 5.Proselytising
Housing Justice can help! A forum and network for churches concerned about homelessness Resources Newsletters, Events, Free e-news Forums for Winter Shelters and Soup Runs www.souprunforum.org.uk www.souprunforum.org.uk Training Advice and support to churches Policy and campaigning role Advocacy for the role of churches
Over to you Be informed Local context: housing, regeneration Unmet needs? Who else is concerned or already doing things? Limited resources, conflicting priorities Possible to work together with other churches/faiths/groups? Prayer Change lives for the better!