Thursday 19 January 2017

Support Homelessness Reduction Bill

Sleeping rough

We’re urging everyone to follow in the footsteps of our inspirational founder, Abbé Pierre, by helping to end homelessness in the UK.

In 1954, angered by the deaths of homeless women and children, Abbé Pierre famously appealed to the French nation to donate blankets and warm clothes, in what would become known as the Uprising of Kindness. This act was the catalyst for the Emmaus movement. The movement now operates in 37 countries across the world. There are currently 28 Emmaus communities in the UK, supporting more than 750 formerly homeless people to rebuild their lives with a proper home and work.

Homeless Sunday on 22nd January 2017 was a huge success, with many of our supporters persuading their local MP to back the Homelessness Reduction Bill. The call to action also coincided with the tenth anniversary of the death of Abbé Pierre.

When passed, the bill will change the law and enable councils in England to take action to reduce homelessness and prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. This will be the first reform of England’s homelessness legislation in 40 years and could prevent more than 40,000 people from becoming homeless each year.

Addie Stevenson, CEO of Emmaus Gloucestershire, said, “In 1954 Abbé Pierre was inspired to act and change the lives of the homeless in Paris. Homelessness still remains as prevalent now as it did in 1954. When this bill becomes law, we will be able to improve the support available to those who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness in the UK.”

Bob Blackman’s Homelessness Reduction Bill aims to bring homelessness legislation up to date and prevent people without children from being told by councils to fend for themselves. In the future, councils will be expected to prioritise and give more practical help to avoid single women and men from becoming homeless.

Thank you everyone who contacted their MP. The Bill’s First Reading in the House of Lords will take place on 24 February. If the Bill successfully passes the House of Lords, it will return briefly to the House of Commons before becoming law.

Your local Gloucestershire MPs:

Stroud: Neil Carmichael on

Gloucester: Richard Graham on or to St Peter’s House, 2 College Street, Gloucester, GL1 2NE.

Cheltenham: Alex Chalk on or to 2 Henrietta Street, Cheltenham, GL50 4AA.

Cotswolds and Cirencester: Geoffrey Clifton-Brown on or 020 7219 5147.