Tuesday 12th December 2017 – Parliament Street Homelessness Roundtable

In the 5th/6th largest economy in the world, one would be surprised to hear about the rise in homelessness that has occurred over the last decade or so.

This December, Parliament Street launched its campaign to increase political and civic activity in tackling homelessness. Although launched at Christmastime, this is a campaign we will be pursuing throughout 2018.

On Tuesday 12th December we launched our campaign, with a roundtable discussion, of how to combat homelessness at the House of Commons.

The event was presided over by our Chairman, Clare Ambrosino. Speakers included Bob Blackman MP, Nic Careem: Founder of Blue Sky Network, Phil Ryan: Co-Founder of The Big Issue and former lead singer of The Animals, Samantha Latouche: Head of Volunteering and Partnerships at One Housing Group and and Sem Moena: Labour councillor and Mayoral advisor at Hackney Council.

As the main sponsor of the Homelessness Reduction Act of 2017, Bob Blackman MP was one of the most suitable Parliamentarians to discuss the issue with us. At the roundtable, he outlined how he was inspired to sponsor this Private Members Bill via his experiences of homelessness at his Parliamentary constituency of Harrow East.

One Housing Network’s Samantha Latouche discussed her work on the impacts of higher rent and the implications it has on those trying to get back into the workplace. She reasons, that the impact of such high rent in London especially,can be a real economical and psychological barrier to many thinking about getting back into the workplace, and could be one of the main causes of high levels of homelessness in our cities

Moreover, Nic Careem added his expertise on the subject by highlighting his experiences of being homeless as a ‘rebellious sixteen-year-old schoolboy’ as he put it. However, the finest moment of the night came from Phil Ryan, who performed his song, The Big Issue Single “Walking Down This Lonely Street” in front of a surprised audience of fifty people! Please do download the song on iTunes (it’s only 99p).

Through Sem Moena’s advice and expertise on homelessness and through Bob Blackman’s ideas on the very subject, the roundtable was able to provide solutions from both the Conservative and Labour Party.

We would also like to thank Daniel Kawczynski MP for his support, in the organisation of the event and on the evening itself.

Video of the event is below:

Comments are closed.