The elimination of rough sleeping

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted one of the key challenges that we, as a society face; an issue that we have continually failed to address and one that we should all be ashamed of. It is a damning indictment on our society that, night after night after night, there are around 5,000 people sleeping rough on the streets. Rough sleeping is a scandal and a disgrace and by failing to eradicate it we are tacitly acknowledging that it is acceptable. In Great Britain in the 21st century, rough sleeping should never be acceptable. In March 2020 and as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic the government launched its ‚’Everyone In‚’ scheme. This initiative brought people in off the streets and housed them in hotels, and other accommodation. It ‚’solved‚’ the problem overnight and, according to the Lancet, saved prevented nearly 300 deaths and 21,000 infections. Unfortunately, the scheme is now long over, people are back living and sleeping on the streets in the direst of conditions. The Covid-19 pandemic is having a terrible impact on our daily lives but it is also bringing out the best in people. As we hopefully return to normal let us build on this resurgence of understanding and compassion and show that we are not a broken and callous country. Let us use the opportunity that this most vicious of diseases has wrought upon us and let us rid our society of the evil of rough sleeping. Local authorities and a host of charities are doing absolutely amazing work and they are all making a difference but this scar on our collective conscience will only be removed if we take a national approach to the problem. Only then will we truly and once-and-for-all, eliminate rough sleeping.




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