Grassroots groups are taking matters into their own hands over homelessness

Streets Kitchen homelessness protest
Support us and go ad-free

As the UK’s homelessness crisis continues to grip the country, grassroots groups are taking matters into their own hands (again).

Solidarity, not charity

Streets Kitchen has become well known for its direct action. Earlier in the year, it occupied a disused commercial building to give shelter to over 160 homeless people and rough sleepers during severe weather. It also operates ‘solidarity centres’ and outreach events, offering food, clothing and essential supplies to London’s homeless and rough sleeper community.

But now, it is stepping further afield. The group has organised a ‘Streets Forum’ in Manchester on 10 April; bringing together other homelessness groups to try and tackle the crisis.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

It said in a Facebook post:

It’s not getting any easier or any better out there on our streets, more than ever we need to work together, sharing skills, information & resources in solidarity where we can, so we can provide the best possible service we can for those in need on our streets.

Involved in the forum are:

Homelessness: a government failure

Grassroots organising is needed now more than ever. The figures speak for themselves. The number of rough sleepers rose by 169% between 2010 and 2017. Also, the number of households in temporary accommodation on 30 September 2017 had gone up by 65% since 31 December 2010. Both the number of households and the number of children in temporary accommodation hit their highest levels on 30 September 2017 since 2007.

Currently, the government does not keep records of the number of homeless people and rough sleepers who die on our streets [pdf, p17]. So it is hard to know how many people have died to due the lack of a home; something the UN acknowledges as a basic human right [pdf]. On 3 April, the government’s Homelessness Reduction Act came into force. But as Left Foot Forward noted:

There is no recognition by the Tories that the Act is a sticking plaster, nor that the major causes of homelessness are the government’s own welfare reforms, growing affordability problems, and insecurity in the private rented sector, which has grown from 13% to 20% of total housing in the last decade.

So, it is once again left to grassroots groups to pick up the pieces where politicians have failed; something the likes of Streets Kitchen are having to do repeatedly.

 Get Involved!

– Support Streets Kitchen – attend the Manchester forum at 7pm on 10 April and contact it via Twitter DM if you can help. Also support Refugee Community Kitchen and StreetVetUK.

Featured image via The Canary

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed