Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire recently contributed to a roundtable discussion on the subject of homelessness, organised by the University of Birmimgham.

The event brought together experts from academia, local government, the NHS and civil society. Geraldine Tsakirakis, our Community Director, attended and shared our viewpoint at this important gathering.

The resultant report was published on October 10 – World Homeless Day 2019 – and can be downloaded here.

Key topics include:

  •  A call to repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824: this outdated legislation criminalises homeless people and makes it harder for them to access the support they need.
  • Trial a drug consumption room: government should allow cities to trial specialist facilities where people can use drugs under medical supervision.
  • Funding is urgently needed for prevention services and long-term interventions that tackle the underlying causes of homelessness and rough sleeping.
  • Changes to the welfare system have meant that more people are slipping through the cracks and becoming homeless.