FrIan writes: There is an appalling housing and homelessness problem in our city and area. In our own local parish here at St Chrysostom’s we see some very sad and some very difficult examples. We regularly have contact with men who have been trafficked. Sadly some of them choose to be homeless in our area rather than take up the offer of help to return to their homes. Each day I encounter at least one or two of these men locally.
The housing problems go well beyond such men. The waiting lists for those seeking more appropriate housing in our city are sadly very long. When I raised a concern I had for a family a housing officer gave a recent example of a house which has become vacant:
“It has 428 applicants bidding on it, many of which are from people living in temporary accommodation and in desperate situations. Another recent house has 328 bids on it. On average when I looked at how long people are waiting in similar housing circumstances its between 2 to 2 1/2 years. For the last 3 years availability is decreasing across Manchester as properties just aren’t becoming empty.”
The housing and homelessness problem affects not only individuals but also families. A safe secure home is essential for good family life.
Individually we can show our support to efforts to end homelessness. We can encourage local politicians to take action. We can support agencies and charities giving help to the homeless and those with acute housing problems.
The Archbishop of Canterbury encourages us to support Crisis, the national charity to help the homeless. One way you can show your support is by signing their petition at: https://campaigns.crisis.org.uk/page/24880/petition/1?ea.tracking.id=everybodyin