THE Christian pressure-group Housing Justice says that churches in its network have reported an increase in the number of people turning to them for help.
A government report, Rough Sleeping Statistics, England: Autumn 2011, published on Thursday of last week, suggests that sleeping rough has risen in England in the past year. The worst-affected areas are in affluent parts of the country in the south-east and south-west. On average, 2181 people are sleeping out each night: last year’s figure was 1768.
The director of Housing Justice, Alison Gelder, said: “Churches that provide practical assistance to homeless and precariously housed people are struggling to meet the rising demand. . . More people are asking for help, including families at risk of losing their homes because of the new limits on Local Housing Allowance.
“The Coalition Government should think again about its policies, which are impacting most directly on the poorest in society.”
On Teesside, on Thursday of last week, Christian groups joined forces at a conference about poverty in Middlesbrough. The co-ordinator, Heather Black, said that the town had been “hit badly by the recent cuts in the public services”.