Just over 50 years ago, SCT, the homelessness and addictions charity I help run in East London, opened its doors for the first time. Its birth as an organisation was the result of a tragedy: a homeless man found dead on the steps of Christ Church Spitalfields just hours after the Vicar had tried to help him with food and a hot drink.
As a result, the church decided to act by offering a safe space, in its cavernous Crypt, to house homeless men during their time of greatest need. SCT recruited volunteers to provide food, shelter and basic support. This was a fairly simple act of kindness but it has undoubtedly been a lifeline for so many vulnerable people.
Our aim as an organisation was – and is – simple: no-one should ever die on the streets without a home and a chance to put their life back together again. To most this would appear to be a fairly uncontroversial objective. Surely, as the world’s fifth richest society, we can agree that having a roof over your head is a basic human right?
But 50 years on, this same tragedy is still replaying over and over again on Britain’s streets. New figures out this week, compiled by the
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