Homeless Sunday7 Dec 2017 By Sam Setchell
Sunday 28 January is Homelessness Sunday.
Organised by Housing Justice, Homeless Sunday is a chance for Churches and Christian groups from across the country join together to pray, reflect and plan practical action on homelessness but also for a united Christian voice to offer solidarity and be a prophetic voice for change.
Homelessness in England is rapidly rising. Being homeless carries significant personal risk; on average, homeless people die at 47, far below the UK life expectancy of 81 years. A homeless rough sleeper is 35 times more likely to attempt suicide than a someone who has never faced homelessness, 13 times more likely to be a victim of violent crime and 47 times more likely to be a victim of theft.
Impossible to measure, there are also some indictors to the scale of hidden homelessness – estimates suggest nearly one in four households have a resident residing in a household against their preference due to lack of other options. 150,000 young people approached their local authority due to housing crisis in the last year. Of these, 26,000 were registered homelessness, yet 50,000 were turned away unsupported.
Housing Justice Church and Community Night Shelters offer food and shelter to those who would otherwise be sleeping rough, rotating responsibility between churches one night at a time. In the past year, as the network continues to grow, the number of guests hosted has increased by 1,100 across the winter season.
Find out more about Homeless Sunday at: www.housingjustice.org.uk/Event/homeless-sunday-2018