Charity Urges Government to Protect Night Shelters

  • Homelessness charity Emmaus are urging the government to protect the funding for night shelters.

    9,500 people have signed the petition to continue giving housing benefit to night shelters that need it to stay open.

     Night shelters have been suffering following a court ruling that said one individual staying in a night shelter was not deemed eligible for housing benefit.

    The decision was based on his individual circumstances, but following the decision councils have began to reassess their policies for which night shelters would qualify for housing benefit based on the criteria listed in this court case.

    A number of councils have already withdrawn funding from some night shelters that no longer meet the criteria, resulting in closure due to lack of funding.

    The charity Emmaus have given the petition to Lord Freud impressing on him to take action to protect these night shelters so no more would have to lose funding.

    The campaign is launched by John Gall from homelessness charity Emmaus, who has experienced homelessness himself, and used night shelters in the past.

    Emmaus is an international charity which offers formerly homeless people a place to live for as long as they need it and meaningful work in one of the charity's social enterprises. There are 24 communities across the UK, supporting more than 580 formerly homeless people.

    Chief Executive of Emmaus UK, Arvinda Gohil, said:

    We are really worried that some local authorities have already suspended housing benefit payments to night shelters.

    Many shelters depend on housing benefit income, so withdrawing this funding could mean they are forced to close. All we are asking is that the government looks at the legislation around housing benefits and makes sure it is available to those who need it most.

     


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