Homeless news updates

from The Guardian

Les Invisibles: former homeless women star in new French comedy

Former homeless women star in award-winning story about sleeping rough in the north

At a time when France is facing street protests about social injustice, a comedy about homeless women in the north is being tipped as one of the funniest and most moving films of the year.

Les Invisibles, which opened in French cinemas on Wednesday, tells the story of women sleeping rough in northern France as a social work centre is threatened with closure.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

This radical plan could be the way to get social housing back on track | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Stop demonising people who need help with housing. A cross-party proposal for 3m affordable properties could allay the crisis

Home should be a sanctuary. Warm and safe, it is a place where a door can be firmly closed on the trials, threats and stresses of the outside world. A place you can rest, and enjoy your leisure time.

For as long as there have been people, they have needed homes. In Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, warmth and rest sit alongside food and water at the base of the pyramid. In his theory, only when those basic needs are met can we concern ourselves with higher goals.

Related: England needs 3m new social homes by 2040, says cross-party report

Related: ‘Bounced from place to place’: the unsettled lives of housing crisis victims

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Revealed: councils send teens in care to live in squalid B&Bs and bedsits

Observer investigation shows growing numbers of vulnerable young people are being placed in ‘risky’ homes

More and more children as young as 16 are being housed alone in bed and breakfast rooms, bedsits and even caravans by local authorities that are struggling to cope with rising numbers of youngsters in the care system.

An investigation by the Observer and BBC 5 Live has established that there has been a 28% increase in the number of under-18s placed by councils in so-called independent living accommodation, which lacks live-in staff support and includes unsupervised B&Bs, over the past eight years.

I was taking legal highs every day. I was drinking. I was around men who were 28 and I was only 16. That’s not normal

There is a national shortage of foster placements willing to take 16- to 18-year-old young people, which limits options

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Being homeless is not a crime, so why are so many jailed? | Samantha Sowerwine

You cannot solve social problems like homelessness, mental illness and substance dependence with the heavy hand of law enforcement

From 2012 to 2017, the number of people imprisoned in Australia grew by a third. This wasn’t in response to any crime wave, or any increase in crime at all. Over that same period, the United States has seen their prison rates fall.

What has been on the rise alongside this alarming trend is homelessness. Homelessness sits at the centre of a complex web of major social problems, including family violence, mental illness, racism, substance dependence and imprisonment.

Related: Cost of living pushing Australian workers into homelessness

Related: Homeless in Melbourne – the crisis an election can’t cloak

Samantha Sowerwine is principal lawyer with Justice Connect’s homeless law service.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

The Bystander Effect: Neuroscientist shows how our brains dehumanise homeless people – video

The Museum of Homelessness worked with neuroscientist Dr Lasana Harris and several participants who have experienced homelessness to understand what is termed ‘the bystander effect’, where people form a dehumanised perception of others through a lack of social engagement.

In this film the camera tracks across three scenes to hear stories of homelessness from various different perspectives in an effort to change the way it is understood and discussed.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Councils ‘ripped off’ by private landlords, experts warn

New figures reveal English councils spend almost £1bn a year on temporary housing

Desperate councils are being “ripped off” as private housing providers take advantage of the growing homeless population, experts have warned, after new figures revealed that local authorities’ spending on temporary accommodation had soared to almost £1bn.

Analysis by the Guardian and the housing charity Shelter found that councils across England spent £997m on temporary accommodation in 2017-18, a 71% increase on the £584m in 2012-13.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

The government is in denial on homelessness | Letters

Readers discuss who is to blame for the rise in homelessness in the UK and what should be done about it

With great sadness I read the housing secretary James Brokenshire’s comments explaining away the responsibility of the government with individual causes to homelessness (Rise in homelessness not result of our policies, says housing secretary, 19 December).

When homelessness is growing, it is a responsibility of the government and a failure of its policy. This has been validated in Finland, where homelessness has decreased due to strong governmental determination. Looking at your growing numbers of homelessness, the reasons seem obvious. It has taken too long to move from talk to action.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

London boroughs join forces to alleviate homelessness crisis

Thousands of extra properties for struggling families pledged but campaigners warn of systemic issues

London boroughs will join forces to provide thousands of extra properties for families on the edge of homelessness, the UK communities secretary has announced.

James Brokenshire called the plan “radical”, and added that with the backing of almost £38m of funding from the government’s £1.2bn strategy to address rough sleeping, it could make a “real difference” to vulnerable people in the capital.

Related: After 25 years of being homeless, I learned there’s one simple thing you can do to help | Gregory P Smith

Related: Hundreds of deaths of homeless people ‘going unexamined’

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness