Crisis’ New Year’s resolution is to put ourselves out of work – will you help?
2017 was a successful year for Crisis’ policy and campaigns team. But as important as our successes have been, they’re simply not enough. That’s why in 2018, we’ll publish a plan to end homelessness in England, Scotland and Wales, once and for all. Then we’ll campaign to make sure it’s put into action. And with any luck, we’ll put ourselves out of work as a result.
Of course it’s still important to reflect on what we achieved in 2017. Together with our brilliant supporters, we helped make a real difference to people experiencing homelessness all across the country. Things like:
- England’s biggest change to homelessness law in 40 years, The Homelessness Reduction Act, passed after 80,000 of our fantastic supporters took part in our No One Turned Away campaign. In England, we also secured manifesto commitments to end rough sleeping – including the Conservative government pledging to halve it by 2022 and end it by 2027 – and £20 million in the Budget to help homeless people rent and £28 million for Housing First.
- Launching our first Scotland specific campaign, #LifeinLimbo, after our clients told us one of the biggest issues they face is being left to languish in unsuitable temporary accommodation, such as B&Bs, lodging houses or unsupported hostels, for long periods of time.
- Expanding our work in Wales, holding our first national policy conference and developing localised policies and campaigns to end homelessness.
Our work hasn’t gone unnoticed in political circles. Crisis’ Chief Executive, Jon Sparkes, has been appointed as Chair of the Scottish Government’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group, as well as being asked to be on the advisory panel for the Ministry of Housing’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Implementation Taskforce.
But it’s not enough.
People are still homeless across our country in 2018 thanks to our shrinking stock of social homes, soaring housing costs, and cuts to benefits. In fact, because of these factors, homelessness is rising. The chances are you walked past someone sleeping rough this morning. Perhaps you’re noticing it more and more, as the tip of the iceberg grows.
Crisis has been around for 50 years now. A campaigning organisation founded as an emergency response to homelessness, still operating five decades later. We shouldn’t still be working on this. In fact we can only truly call ourselves successful when we’ve helped make sure no one has to face homelessness in this country, ever. And we’ve worked ourselves out of a job as a result.
So we haven’t been celebrating Crisis’ 50th year. And while there were campaign wins to celebrate in 2017, we’re not resting on our laurels. Instead, we’re working on a plan to end homelessness across England, Scotland and Wales.
It’s an ambitious aim. We’ve already defined exactly what it means and we know what will happen if we don’t take action. We’ve been speaking to people across Great Britain about what should go in the plan: policy and practice experts in the homelessness and other sectors; national, regional and local government; businesses, landlords, members of the public and, of course, people with lived experience of homelessness.
Once it’s ready, we won’t be leaving the plan on a shelf to go dusty; we’ll be campaigning to make sure it’s put into action. To end homelessness once and for all.
But we’ll need Everybody In – including you – to make it happen. Sign up to find out more about the plan and how you can get involved.
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