Press TV, London
The UK government estimated 280,000 people would be rough sleeping or living in temporary housing on Christmas Day, and half of them are children. At this time of year many resources are unavailable, so volunteers across the country have dedicated their time to helping the homeless get through the holidays.
Shelters and charities are closed during Christmas time, but large emergency centers open up across the UK to give the homeless somewhere to stay until the end of the year. They rely heavily on the support of charities and volunteers, not just for food but for companionship and even advice.
Even for many people who have a home, Christmas is a lonely time of year, so for those with no secure place to live the festive season is an even more depressing time. In central London a school has been transformed into a reception center.
Over the last decade the homelessness crisis has deepened. Charities say rising homelessness is being driven by a lack of affordable housing and the failure of housing benefits – which were frozen in 2016 – to keep pace with spiraling private rents.
One in every 200 people in Britain is classified as homeless. In London one in every 52 people do not have a place to call home and these government figures do not count people who are sofa-surfing or living in sheds or tents. Back in May, a UN report described poverty in the UK as 'systematic' and 'tragic'.
The British government has estimated that 280,000 people are rough sleeping, or living in temporary housing – and half of them are children. At this time of year, many resources are unavailable so volunteers across the country have dedicated their time to helping the homeless get through the holidays.
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