Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Homelessness - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:53 am on 20th December 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Boycott Baroness Boycott Crossbench 11:53 am, 20th December 2018

My Lords, some years ago I took part in one of those rather insane television programmes which meant that I slept on the streets for about eight nights. Even though I was completely safe and I knew that it was coming to an end, I cannot begin to describe the feelings of hopelessness and terror that it induced in me. It was not just that I was hopeless and terrified and had nothing but that I had nowhere to go. I was frequently told, “Go and get a job”—which was quite impossible. I was wearing rubbishy old clothes and had carrier bags and I was not even allowed to sit in a café. It seems to me that we put charity money into keeping people perhaps safe overnight—and safety is very marginal in some of these shelters, especially for women, as I know—but they have to be helped to get out of this situation and to get jobs. It is not enough to hurl a few pounds to give them a hot dinner over Christmas. This is about the rest of their lives and the cost and the shame to all of us. I beseech the Government to take this much more seriously.