Homeless at Christmas

Can you think of anything more dreadful than being homeless at Christmas? Walking cold wet streets with no-one to go to, nobody that cares whether you live or die, permanently hungry, wondering if you will find a bed for the night. No wonder many are turning to drugs and alcohol. Maybe a side benefit of ending homelessness and reducing prison intake would be to get these people off the streets, re-house and re-educate them before they turn to a life of crime. It is no wonder we need more police!

Sleeping in cold wet doorways must be unbearable at any time of the year but at Christmas everyone is heading “home” to enjoy the friendship, good food and warmth with their friends and loved ones.

“The Salvation Army” and many other organizations do what they can to help the needy, homeless, and neglected members of society and do a great job, but it is the 21st century and one would expect a solution for homelessness to have been found; but no, the problem is getting worse with a growing number of street dwellers and the hidden number of sofa sleepers that are only a breath away from homelessness. Hundreds of homeless roam the streets of our towns.

The government is failing to provide enough dwellings for people. The housing crisis is growing daily, as is the decline of many of the “private lets”. Spurred on by the crisis of lack of affordable accommodation, rogue landlords are cashing in on the demand for housing for the needy and are taking advantage of them.

What solution is available? Would you believe there are ranges of eco-friendly dwellings in the pipeline, designed with low running costs, by a number of companies, they are affordable and could be used by councils to rent to the needy, they could also be offered to increase the capacity of private dwellings. All we need is cooperation from the government to give the OK and support. What are they waiting for – the crisis to grow to experiential numbers of homeless, creating crimes for survival in their harsh reality. Who can blame them for submitting to the numbing effects of drugs and alcohol to lessen their pain and frustration.

Or consider the aged confined to hospital after illness or falls when their family live too far away to care for them. Eco-friendly extensions to the family home could solve this and give the elderly a certain amount of independence and dignity whilst making it convenient for relatives to help. More strain on the NHS trying to arrange home care.

Just announced, council tax bills are about to rise by 3% to cover the social care costs as an emergency sticking plaster tactic, when with an overhaul system reform, the whole housing crisis could be addressed.