This month’s ‘community focus’ concentrates on an Essex Charity helping thousands of homeless people every single month. Friends of Essex & London Homeless are a local charity driven by one single goal: “to do their part in making the world a better place for all.” They are a small group made up of volunteers who travel to central London every Wednesday evening to set up a ‘pop up’ soup kitchen at Charing Cross, which ensures hundreds of homeless receive a hot meal.

Havering Council are currently developing ‘Havering’s Homelessness Prevention and Rough Sleeper Strategy 2020-2025’ and are asking residents for their input.

The Council have stated that they are committed to enhancing local services to support and protect those who find themselves homeless and vulnerable. They aim to learn the lessons as to why this happens, and plug the gaps where possible to improve early intervention and preventative work.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced the launch of a new initiative which will double the street outreach team and prepare severe weather shelters to open London-wide whenever freezing temperatures are forecast in a bid to help rough sleepers in the capital. Alongside this contactless donation points have been set up across London offering Londoners the chance to donate to homeless charity projects directly.

Earlier this year Dagenham United Charity organised Easter eggs to be delivered to the 150 children currently living in Butler Court, a homeless hostel in Dagenham. Normally during the festive season the charity organises hampers for struggling residents but this Christmas Councillor Margaret Mullane, one of the Trustees for Dagenham United Charity, is taking it a step further.

Today (Friday 28/10) Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham is in parliament for the 2nd reading of the Homelessness Bill. The central parts of the Homelessness Reduction Bill would strengthen the duties local councils have to people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. The main part of the Bill legislates for:

 

The total number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in August 2016 was 1,612. This represents a rate of 3.2% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 174th highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest claimant rate, 650th = lowest claimant rate.) The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.4%.