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HOMELESSNESS AROUND THE WORLD: SPOTLIGHT ON UNITED KINGDOM

Despite being one of the world’s most developed countries, those within the lower income bracket in the UK have an extremely low standard of living.  

Data on the distribution of household wealth in the UK, looking at salary versus wages reveals that 80% of the age group 25-35 are dependent on wages as opposed to salaries for their income, the largest distribution of any of the other population groups living in relative poverty.  

Statistics available on the plight of the homeless in the UK are alarming. For example, homeless people die at the average age of 47; they are almost 17 times more likely to have been victims of violence; and one in three homeless people will have been deliberately hurt – punched or kicked- while sleeping on the street. They are also nine times more likely to take their own lives. 

Factors contributing to homelessness on the streets of the UK include a lack of affordable housing, poverty and unemployment. Many have returned from care institutions, the army or even jail with nowhere else to go. A large percentage of women living on the street are doing so to escape violent and abusive relationships, others have lost their jobs, are unable to afford their rent or struggle with mental health problems or addiction.  

Certain individuals are eligible to apply to the local authorities for housing assistance, and it is the duty of these authorities to provide groups of people, often families, with temporary housing solutions. In order to qualify for assistance, the individual must be defined as homeless (lacking a secure place to live or unable to stay at their place of residence) and must meet a number of strict criteria in order to receive assistance under the category of statutory homeless.  

Those who are unable to access help are typically found sleeping on the street and are frequently excluded from official statistics as they – quite literally – disappear into the fabric of urban life in hostels, squats and even concealed housing.  

 

 

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These aren’t just words, neatly packed to sound helpful “in theory”; these are the very real concepts on which the global movement of positive change is built.
It’s with these ideas that The Philanthropic Collection home to The CEO SleepOut is turning old world philanthropy on its head;
getting business leaders to sleep on the streets to raise funds and gain empathy for the homeless in The CEO SleepOut Event;
and sparking conversations that truly lead to worldwide action.

www.theceosleepoutza.co.za

By Ali Gregg