The Blog

Mike Hall obituary

My first boss, Mike Hall, who has died aged 69, helped to found Simon House in Oxford in the 1960s. Everyone was welcome at this night shelter for the homeless, whatever their condition. Then, in the 1970s, he successfully campaigned for a new £1m hostel to be built in Paradise Street.

Mike was brought up in Salford. His father, Jack, a docker and Labour councillor, died when Mike was 10, and his mother, Elizabeth, worked as a dinner lady and playground supervisor to support her two sons, before running an off-licence.

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Homeless protesters face eviction from Manchester city centre

Ten weeks after setting up camp outside town hall protesting against city’s homelessness policy, the rough sleepers may be forced out by magistrates

Homeless people who have been camping for months in Manchester city centre in protest at the city’s growing rough-sleeping problem could be evicted on Monday if the council wins an injunction against them.

Manchester city council served a notice on the campers on Friday 19 June, ordering them to pack up their tents and leave St Ann’s Square and Castlefield. But the 20 or so protesters have refused to go, prompting the council to apply to magistrates for an injunction preventing them from settting up camp anywhere else in the city.

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Number of homeless families housed in B&Bs rises 300% in five years

Official figures show nearly 50,000 families in England are living in temporary accommodation, laying bare the impact of government cuts

The number of homeless families housed in bed and breakfast accommodation has increased by more than 300% in the past five years, according to official figures that lay bare the impact of austerity cuts on housing for the most vulnerable families in England.

By the end of March, 2,570 families were living in B&Bs, an increase of 35% since last year and a staggering 308% rise on the same date in 2010, when there were 630. The numbers living in B&Bs for more than six weeks more than doubled over the past year alone.

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Meet the 'bum blogger', Moscow's homeless YouTube star

Zhenya the Yakut’s video dispatches on where to sleep, eat and wash on the capital’s streets have notched up hundreds of thousands of views online. The Moscow Times reports

A man living on Moscow’s streets who describes himself as a “bum blogger” is building an impressive online following with his YouTube video channel showing the underside of the city’s life.

The self-identified homeless blogger who goes by the moniker Zhenya Yakut started the YouTube channel in May, pledging to “show you the Moscow you have not yet seen”. The channel has more than 23,000 subscribers, four weeks after Yakut, named after the Yakutia region in Russia’s far east, posted his first video.

There are thousands of people living and surviving here. You can even come across a bum blogger.

Related: Mad Mike, the homeless blogger who became a millionaire overnight

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Greece: 'The crisis has brought out solidarity, love and collective action'

The plight of the Greek economy has been devastating, but it has also led to a flowering of civil society. Here two young activists look at five new initiatives


The Emfasis Foundation, founded in April 2013, is an initiative that aims to help homeless people. Emfasis teams go out in the streets at night in some of the more dangerous parts of Athens. The volunteers get to know the homeless and build a relationship based on trust.

Related: Changing the game for street children: three days to get it right

Related: Greek crisis: episodes of despair and drama as moment of truth nears


Related: Do banks matter in developing countries?

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Aidan Halligan obituary

Surgeon who pioneered NHS training to improve patient care through learning from mistakes

Aidan Halligan, who has died suddenly aged 57, was a compassionate surgeon who challenged the status quo in healthcare. His lasting contribution lay in demonstrating how to create safer and more effective ways for doctors, nurses and others to work together, in an environment of learning from mistakes. The work he pioneered, and was passionate about, resulted in safer and better care for patients.

As director of clinical governance for the NHS (1999-2006), and then as deputy chief medical officer for England from 2003, under Liam Donaldson, he helped establish consistent standards of care across the English NHS. He ran an innovative training establishment in Leicestershire, Elision Health (2006-2008), where surgical and multidisciplinary teams could develop their skills.

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Dublin becomes the latest city to propose partial ban on private cars

City links: The Irish capital is poised to go car-free in parts of the city centre, rapid buses take off in Islamabad and mobile homeless shelters take root in Honolulu in this week’s roundup of the best city stories

This week’s best city stories explore Dublin’s plans to ban private cars from its city centre, discuss the impact of bus rapid transit (BRT) systems on cities in Pakistan and look at designs to transform Honolulu’s buses into mobile homeless shelters. We’d love to hear your responses to these stories, and any others you’ve read recently, both on Guardian Cities and elsewhere. Just share your thoughts in the comments below.

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'I escaped domestic abuse – only to find my sanctuary was more like a prison'

When I left my abusive partner I thought the worst was over, but moving around squalid hostels broke me emotionally and financially

On paper I had it all: a great job and a flat in a nice part of London. To outsiders things seemed good, but beneath the surface I felt like I was going mad. I tiptoed around, treading on eggshells, but it wasn’t until I dragged myself to a gay housing charity and asked for counselling that I realised I was in an abusive relationship.

Related: Out in the cold: LGBT housing services devastated by austerity cuts

Somebody out there is making a lot of money out of homeless people

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