Veterans’ and People’s Party Leader, Robin Horsfall, has spoken out against the Mayor of London’s decision to not open shelters for the homeless unless the temperature drops below zero degrees centigrade.
In a post on his social media page, Mr Horsfall began with the fact that it is not only the cold that kills.
“Christmas and the homeless. Open the doors!
I fail to understand why Sadiq Khan will only open facilities for the homeless if the temperature drops below zero centigrade. It is not just the cold that kills it is the wind and the rain. A wet, cold night at 4 degrees is far worse than a dry cold night at minus 4. It is easier to insulate against the cold than the wind and the rain.”
He continued with his thoughts on the need for more social housing and that the difficulty of access to “affordable housing” or any form of organised shelter only exacerbates the situation. Not only homelessness itself but the cost the result of homelessness adds to the already struggling NHS.
“If facilities exist they should be open and supervised every night of the year regardless of the price. The costs to the emergency services and the NHS must be enormous. If a budget exists to care for people who are ill or dying on the streets then a budget should exist for providing temporary shelter for homeless people.
There is a need for more social housing in the UK as a whole but many homeless people need shelter tonight. They can't access (and I hate the term) 'affordable housing'. They can't access a hostel from the local authority because there isn't enough shelter available. Available shelter is usually full or the homeless suffer with mental or emotional health problems which prevent them from asking for help.”
In conclusion, Mr Horsfall appealed directly to London Mayor Sadiq Khan as well as all community leaders.
“Sadiq Khan and other community leaders need to open empty spaces and use them as clean, simple facilities that will provide safety and shelter. Disused military barracks would be a good starting point. This would also provide a contact point for charities and care services.
There are costs, and there are difficulties dealing with homeless people but resources need to be redirected to genuinely provide help where it is most needed. I would like to see more social workers out on the streets at night helping those who are sleeping rough, preventing them being robbed or attacked and guiding them to places of safety.
Christmas isn't a time for helping the homeless. Every bloody day is a day for helping the homeless.
Open the doors Mr Khan and keep them open!”
Robin Horsfall is the Leader of the Veterans’ and People’s Party (VAPP).
The Veterans’ and People’s Party are committed to combatting homelessness nationwide.