Spotlight on Housing
Posted on February 6th, 2015 at 12:49PM
It was a chilly -2C this morning when I did the school run. Naturally tight with my money (a typical Yorkshire woman), even I have surrendered to having the heating on all day over this past cold week. I cannot imagine how cold it must be for those unable to afford any heating at all.
People like H who has no heating in her flat and does not want to borrow again. Or M, a single man who lives in his living room with his bedding to keep warm.
Winter is the logical time to focus on this particular category from our website given the cold weather, often putting homelessness in the spotlight.
According to the latest figures published in February last year, 2,414 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on any one night. Add to that around 60,000 people in temporary accommodation such as B&Bs and hostels. I remember a particular story from a couple of years ago where a family with baby twins had been placed in a B&B and had no fridge to keep the baby food and milk cold nor a microwave to heat it. Thankfully Acts 435 requests for both were met quickly.
There are also many people considered to be hidden from these homelessness statistics, perhaps as many as 62% of single homeless people, who are sofa surfing at friends' houses, living in squats or other insecure accommodation. (Info from Homeless Link www.homeless.org.uk)
Even when appropriate housing is found, it is often unfurnished and Acts 435 has helped many people with essentials like a bed, a cooker or a carpet where a baby would otherwise be left crawling on dangerous floorboards. Acts 435 has also provided a lifeline for people living on the streets - the all-important cash to get a bond to rent somewhere. I met such a person in Bradford last winter - he was so grateful to be off the streets and in a great little private-rented flat. We celebrated with strong Latvian coffee!
See here for a few people who need a helping hand this winter, whether to get into housing, or to resolve problems with their current housing.