Action Card - March 2020
Material provided by Christians Aware
Walk around almost any town or city in Britain and you will encounter a rough sleeper, pleading for coins. You will also come across
cardboard encampments, ghostly faces peering from fragile constructions under bridges, in foul doorways and beneath church porches. The
sodden blankets and damp sleeping bags offer scant protection against bitter winds.
Accurate figures of homelessness cannot be recorded because many people remain out of sight for safety reasons and are not seen by the
council officials who carry out the counts.
SHELTER - A Housing Charity
Over the past year, 320,000 people were officially recorded as homeless in Britain, reports Shelter. This is equivalent to 36 new
people becoming homeless every day. Shelter estimates that one in every 200 Britons is either sleeping rough or living in temporary
Chief executive of Shelter, Polly Neate, reports: "These new figures show that homelessness is having a devastating impact on the lives of
people right across the country”. ... “The government says it is investing £1.2bn to tackle homelessness but due to the perfect storm of
spiralling rents, welfare cuts and a total lack of social housing, record numbers of people are sleeping out on the streets or are stuck in the
cramped confines of a hostel room”.
Rising Hunger - Foodbanks
Alongside rising homelessness, Britain has seen a growing network of foodbanks providing emergency food and support to more than 14
million people living in poverty - including 4.5 million children. There are at least 1,200 foodbank centres across Britain, providing a minimum
of three days’ nutritionally-balanced emergency food to people who have been referred in crisis, as well as other support to help people
resolve the crises they face. Between April 2018 and March 2019, foodbanks provided a record 1.6 million food supplies to people in crisis, a
19% increase on the previous year.
Numerous churches are involved in food banks bringing together the experiences of many to challenge the structural economic issues that
lock people into poverty. They campaign to end this need in Britain.
Schools, churches, businesses and individuals donate non-perishable, in-date food to food banks.
Large collections often take place as part of seasonal celebrations such as Harvest and Christmas, and food is also collected at
Volunteers sort food to check that it’s in date and store it ready to be given to people who are referred to foodbanks.
More than 40,000 people give up their time to volunteer at food banks across Britain.
We can all support and become involved in this in our home area.