A National Disgrace

· Housing

The report today from Shelter, the UK’s housing and homelessness charity, that at least 320,000 people in the country are currently homeless is truly horrific and unprecedented. That anyone in Britain, the fifth richest country in the world, should be without a home is a national disgrace, a shared shame of our society. The figure represents a gross failure of those responsible for the protection of the public and this failure will surely haunt those parties in the years to come.

But, what is our collective responsibility in this tragedy? Why is it that government, communities, businesses, and individuals can so easily think that they are not a part of the problem? When did we lose our feeling for our neighbours to such an extent that we could turn away? When will the rage boil over and make us demand – “enough, enough, enough”? 1 in every 24 people in Newham is homeless. 1 in every 67 in Birmingham. Around 1 in every 200 people across the country. What a failure – of imagination, of compassion, of humanity. It is the responsibility of all of us, whether we be businesses, communities, governments, or individuals, to build a better society, to not simply chase our own dreams, but chase a common dream of a decent life for all. We call on you to join us and put an end to suffering, want and hardship. We call on you to infuse hope back into our world.

Our goal has always been clear:

Homes, Health, Education, Liberation – for all.

To achieve this, we must get creative. We must build these values into our organizations, businesses, and communities; we must, indeed, build them into our very lives. That rents are too high and uncontrolled, that the safety net has been sabotaged, that precariousness rules, is clear, but what will you do about it?

Will you make the commitment? Will your business or organization agree to take a stand? Work with us to bring about the future we all want. We cannot do it without you.