At the heart of Mission is Justice.
Statistics from Maidstone Day Care:
Today in the UK there are:
- 90,000 families in temporary accommodation
- 122,000 homeless children
- 52,000 homeless young people
- 400,000 hidden homeless
Hidden homeless are the sofa surfers and couch hoppers, the people who stay with friends or family for a while until the welcome wears out or the overcrowding causes problems and they are once more forced out onto the streets again.
- In 2007 the Simon Community counted 301 people sleeping rough in inner London.
- We know that in Maidstone tonight, between 25 and 30 men and women will be sleeping rough.
- So according to Government figures that would leave around 150 over the rest of the country. Does that make sense?
Official counts are regulated and risk assessed so that only certain places are deemed safe for the counters to look; and if there are under ten rough sleepers in an area then these are not included in the figures. Rough sleepers do not usually sleep in well lit shop doorways and ‘safe places’ they tend to hide away for fear of attack so official counters would be unlikely to come across them.
Improvements have been made but the problems surrounding rough sleeping haven’t gone away.
“Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Quite literally food for thought!