Andy's Blog

A Blog about me, Andy. The name says it all.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Westminster council critical of helping the homeless

I was slightly shocked to see on the news this morning that Westminster council have criticised homeless charities who run soup kitchens and drop-in centres as they say they don't tackle the root causes of homelessness.

Whilst this is true, I think the criticsm, especially from the council, is completely mis-placed and mis-directed.

These charities are providing a vital, if not life-saving, service to some of the most marginalised people in the country. If it wasn't for them, I'm sure that many homeless people would find it impossible to survive.

The council should be the one trying to tackle the root causes of homelessness in its borough and be thankful the soup kitchens are there keep the homeless people alive while they wade through lots of sub-group meetings coming up with a strategy.

But no, Westminster council seems intent to again let the third sector provide anothe public service, or have these organisations shut down and then starve the homeless people back into employment. Obviously, they must think, these people haven't got deep rooted social problems, they're just lazy. Take away their free meals and then they're bound to go back to work. I don't think so.

If a charity wants to provide a limited service that just satisifies a groups basic requirements, like one hot meal a day, then they should be encouraged to do so. Not chastised by a council that should be practicing what it is preaching.


At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Metatone said...

Hi there, I first found your blog when you commented on the Channel 4 program about single mothers. As a sympathetic human being with a progressive outlook, I thought you might be interested in Eurotrib, which is a left of centre discussion place for people across Europe. We also hope to set up a BritBlog one of these days, but that might be a little while yet. Please do drop by and have a look.

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Andy Robinson said...

Thanks metatone. I'll check it out.


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