Homelessness charities to target migrants
A campaign has been launched to educate people coming to the UK about the dangers of ending up sleeping rough on the streets.
Before You Go – run by homelessness charity The Passage in partnership with Thames Reach and Homeless Link – is aiming to reach people from central and eastern Europe before they leave their home countries.
The campaign plans to make people aware of the dangers of coming to the UK without appropriate support in place.
The campaign comes in the wake of recent statistics which show that 52 per cent of rough sleepers on London’s streets did not have UK nationality.
The Combined Homelessness and Information Network, run by Broadway, also estimates that in London there has been a 20 per cent increase in rough sleepers from Central and Eastern Europe in the last two years.
Mick Clarke, chief executive of The Passage, said: ‘Having a job secured, with secure accommodation in place, and ensuring that your travel arrangements are organised by a reputable company can be the difference between successful migration and ending up sleeping on the streets.
‘The Passage is therefore proud to be leading on the Before You Go pilot that will help people considering travelling to the UK for employment to make an informed choice and not end up on the streets, destitute and at risk.’
Inside Housing reported in January on plans by eastern European embassies to support nationals sleeping rough in London to return home.
Audrey Mitchell, director of street and hostel services at Thames Reach, said: ‘As an organisation engaging with vulnerable non UK nationals on the streets every day we see firsthand the danger and hopelessness they suffer through being ill-prepared for living and working here.
‘Working closely with support agencies and the media in many EU countries, as well as embassies here, we are constantly highlighting the need for being prepared and informed about working in London before coming over.’