No-one living in the UK should be destitute. By destitute I mean having no job, no income, no benefits, no home, nothing.
In the sixth largest economy in the world, no-one should be destitute. And if people are destitute, then just to survive they will be open to abuse and exploitation with none of the rights that we take for granted. There are people living in destitution in this country. This is a humanitarian crisis, often hidden but leaving thousands of people destitute.
It is time to campaign to end destitution.
There are a variety of charities already working across housing, migration, refugees, poverty, disability and other sectors, which are very often small grass roots organisations, dealing with the human consequences of people living in destitution. Destitution is often enforced by policies and can be avoided by explicit policy or practice change.
These charities know all too well the impact of destitution, but very often lack the capacity and resource to be able to use this knowledge to influence our politicians in a sustainable way to ensure that people are not left destitute.
Over the past few months I’ve been having conversations with people all over the country concerned about the issue of destitution. There seems to be a growing consensus emerging that we do need a new campaigning push, which harnesses the energy already committed to helping people directly so that we can campaign for policy and practice change to end destitution.
This is an exciting and much needed development – watch this space!