London – VIJAY SHAH
According to homelessness and housing issues charity Shelter, there are 320,000 people classified as homeless in the UK, with the number rising by a thousand a month (according to the Guardian newspaper). This has intensified with a combination of factors causing more people finding themselves without a roof over their heads. These factors include rising rents, lack of suitable housing, and a weakened economy owing to the aftermath of the 2008 credit crunch, and now Brexit.
For the homeless forced to live on the streets and in parks, life is unbearable. Many experience mental/physical health and addiction problems, are marginalised by the better-off and face discrimination and outright abuse even. There have been incidences of thugs setting fire to homeless men and urinating on them as they slept.
In Britain, winter is in full swing, with temperatures dropping below freezing now on most nights. People who can go home and warm up with the central heating are understandably frustrated about the cold and chills, but spare a thought for those who only have a tatty and dirty sleeping bag being all that separates them from the harsh icy elements.
StreetLink is a nationwide charity which encourages people to look out for those who are dwelling on the streets and have nowhere else to go. The charity helps connect rough sleepers to services that can help get them off the streets, including emergency shelters and other accommodation. As the harsh British winter continues its relentless grip, readers are being urged to keep an eye for the ignored. If you see someone who is sleeping rough, you can call StreetLink directly on their freephone number 0300 500 0914 and tell the operator where and when you saw the person. The charity will send out a street outreach team to check up on the rough sleeper, and potentially, you could be the one that means that person will not die early and instead see their life turn around for the better. You can also send your notification in via the StreetLink app or their website: streetlink.org.uk
“Welcome to StreetLink” – StreetLink https://www.streetlink.org.uk/StreetLink_HomePage