National Homelessness News

November 2020

Prime Minister finally gives way to Marcus Rashford in a second u-turn on child food poverty. 

After weeks of increasing pressure, Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally gave way to calls from footballer Marcus Rashford and a number of charities to extend free school meals for children from low income families during future school holidays in England, 

The new government package on offer will include a £170 million Covid Winter grant scheme to support families in need and an extension of the holiday activities and food programme through next year’s Easter Summer and Christmas breaks.  

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November 2020

Covid-19 crisis pushing middle income families to food bank help.  

Food aid charities have identified a new cohort of food bank users who previously held good jobs and enjoyed comfortable incomes but are now claiming welfare benefits for the first time. Members of the Feeding Britain and Independent Food Network say they are now seeing people with mortgages and cars who own businesses or are self employed but have been tipped into crisis due to gaps in the social security system. 

Before Covid, research suggests that the vast majority of food bank users were destitute, however this has now widened. The phenomenon of the so-called ‘newly hungry’ is revealed as Feeding Britain’s network of charities reported massive increases in the amount of food aid they had given out since March

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November 2020

Homeless charities say more support for rough sleepers will be needed this Winter 

With an increasing number of people losing their jobs, the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is leading to a second surge in the number of people being made homeless.

Despite a ban on evictions, tens of thousands of people have been forced onto the streets. The government has acknowledged the crisis, pledging a £15 million pound emergency fund to go towards housing the most vulnerable rough sleepers. It has named Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Cornwall, Leicester, London, Manchester, Oxford and Salford as priority areas. The homelessness sector is calling for help on a larger scale than the £15 million pound scheme. 

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November 2020

Calls for homelessness scheme to be brought back for the English Lockdown. 

A group of charities and campaigners have called for the government to relaunch its homelessness strategy to protect thousands of homeless people from the second wave of Covid-19. The “everyone in” policy housed almost 15,000 homeless people in budget hotels during the first wave of the pandemic

In a letter addressed to the home secretary, Priti Patel and the housing secretary Robert Jenrick, the group of frontline workers urged ministers to reopen hotels to thousands of rough sleepers. 

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October 2020

Prime Minister finally gives way to Marcus Rashford in a second u-turn on child food poverty. 

After weeks of increasing pressure, Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally gave way to calls from footballer Marcus Rashford and a number of charities to extend free school meals for children from low income families during future school holidays in England, 

The new government package on offer will include a £170 million Covid Winter grant scheme to support families in need and an extension of the holiday activities and food programme through next year’s Easter Summer and Christmas breaks.  

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October 2020

The businesses that stepped in to provide free meals for children

Across the UK thousands of café owners and other catering businesses listened to the appeal from football start Marcus Rashford and took up the challenge of feeding schoolchildren during the school holidays. The businesses stepped in to fill a gap left when the government voted down a motion to provide 1.4 million disadvantaged children in England with £15-a-week food vouchers during half-terms and holidays until Easter 2021 

The volunteer group All Of Us Together has created an interactive map of all the businesses offering meals.  It said at least 20,026 meals were provided by 411 organisations in the first few days of the week. 

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October 2020

One million people sign Rashford’s petition to end child poverty

The England and Manchester United footballer’s petition is one of just five parliamentary petitions to have drawn a million signatures. It calls on the government to extend access to free school meals, to provide meals and activities during holidays and to expand the healthy start scheme for young mothers on benefits. The success of the petition is increasing pressure on the government to rethink its position. 

Labour’s shadow chancellor, Anneliese Dodds said  “It’s unbelievable that this government would refuse to provide food to the country’s poorest children at the height of the pandemic”

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September 2020

Former addict’s ‘illegal’ van for safer drug use in Glasgow hailed as ‘lifesaving’

With the drugs death rate in Scotland three times higher than that in any other EU country, and with the majority of fatalities occurring in Glasgow, former addict Peter Krykant decided to take action. He set up a mobile drug consumption facility in the city, operating out of a van. Now, despite technically being in breach of the law he has been praised for his crucial service by users and also by local SNP MP Alison Thewliss.

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September 2020

Former addict’s ‘illegal’ van for safer drug use in Glasgow hailed as ‘lifesaving’

With the drugs death rate in Scotland three times higher than that in any other EU country, and with the majority of fatalities occurring in Glasgow, former addict Peter Krykant decided to take action. He set up a mobile drug consumption facility in the city, operating out of a van. Now, despite technically being in breach of the law he has been praised for his crucial service by users and also by local SNP MP Alison Thewliss.

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September 2020

Tenants facing harassment and violence from landlords despite evictions the ban.

Although the government extended its ban on evictions, new figures from the charity Safer Renting reveal that  harassment and illegal evictions have almost tripled in parts of the capital’s shadow rental market since lockdown began on 23rd March.

Roz Spencer, director of Safer Renting explains “We regularly see tenants threatened or coming home to find the locks changed and belongings dumped on the street.”

Nationally, data from Citizens Advice shows a 95%  increase in people asking for help with illegal evictions between the end of March and end of July, compared with the same period in 2019.  

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