What an uplifting story in Friday’s Echo, where the seven-strong Marley Park Team 5 spent two days with the residents at Swan Lodge last winter, helping lift their spirits in the run up to Christmas.
As one of the young volunteers said she was worried about meeting homeless people, but was amazed as they were no different from anyone else.
That’s the frightening part as a lot of people are not a million miles away from the possibility of homelessness, a lost job, a serious injury, no one is exempt, not given the cutbacks this Government has forced upon the people, which only exacerbates the situation.
When the Conservatives came into power in 2010 there was just over 1,000 rough sleepers in England, now it’s very close to 5,000.
The charity Shelter said the true figure could be double that as a lot of rough sleepers move around.
About 78 homeless people died on the streets last year, with eight out of 10 suffering from mental health issues. This Government has slashed the funding for affordable housing, and mental health, this is an attack on those who can’t defend themselves, the most vulnerable in society, a lot of them ex-servicemen.
I just hope this winter isn’t as harsh as this Government’s policies.