We think Christian as this covered but see how a backpack that converts to a tent is tackling helping Homelessness

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A unique backpack that converts into a bed may be the key to easing just a few of the indignities faced by homeless people living on the street. Water- and windproof, the fire-retardant, mildew-resistant Backpack Bed looks like a backpack, but easily transforms into crisis bedding, complete with a bag and lock to secure personal items. The nonprofit creator, Swags for Homeless (in their native Australia, “swag” means a one-man portable tent), uses a social enterprise model to fund production, and partners with 300+ welfare agencies in five countries–Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the United Kingdom, and now the United States–to distribute the beds to the chronic homeless and people who have been turned away from shelters for lack of space.

The product itself is actually five tools in one. It is a lightweight, ergonomic backpack and a windowed one-man tent. It has a built-in camp mat (which has an insulated lining to mitigate the dangerous effects of sleeping on cold surfaces), functions as a wind and sun shelter, and it even has a mosquito net pouch that can be pulled over the entire mat in lieu of the tent on hot nights.

To get one, the recipient must work with a caseworker at one of the 300+ partner agencies, which makes it a useful tool for signing up people for permanent housing programs.

HOMELESSNESS NEWS – A STARK REALITY OF TODAY AS ELDERLY MAN EVICTED, MADE HOMELESS AND LEFT TO DIE 23/11/2013

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This is the sick heartbreaking reality of today when an 80 plus year old gentleman has been evicted by his landlord because he could not pay his rent with no help what so ever. He has been let down by this government thrown on the street and left to die. He was found by one homeless person who gave their hot meal and blankets to this now homeless 80 plus year old gentleman who has been thrown out on to the streets with nothing but his shirt on his back and left to die. Has lost everything he owned and probably fought for. THIS HAS TO STOP NOW.

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Christmas guilt about homeless children is not enough, More than 80,000 children may spend Christmas in temporary accommodation facing homelessness.

Homelessness

The housing charity Shelter has published a report revealing a picture of homelessness in England. More than 80,000 children face spending Christmas in temporary accommodation, a 10-year high. In the context of a government crowing about job creation and the economy “healing”, this may appear shocking. As someone who was homeless for a year, I do not find the figures in the least surprising. Nor, I should emphasise, are they entirely representative. They are simply a snapshot of the families that currently fall under a local authority’s restrictive definition of homeless. They do not take into account people dependent on the charity and sofa of a friend or relative, nor those who hide their status in shame – over 40% of rough sleepers hide their circumstances, just like I did.

Before I became destitute, while life was still sweet and carefree, it was simply easier to enjoy one’s existence while thinking of deprivation as a vague concept and ascribing it to fecklessness,laziness or inferiority of some sort. Reality bursts that bubble. Once you accept that someone’s starving 100m from where you’re throwing food away, life becomes morally complicated.

There is a psychological imperative for people latching on to the idea that UK poverty is not real; that homelessness is a lifestyle choice; that food banks are supply driven. State and media rhetoric which, to a large extent, designates poor people as deserving or undeserving, feeds into this denial. One side of the argument projects on our psyche an image of the poor, carefully perpetuated by chatshow hosts, exploiting the system to live an easy life on benefits. The other counter-imposes a picture of faultless, Madonna-like mothers with babes in arm, in squalid conditions. Both are unhelpful, because they allow one to believe that most are the former and exceptions should be made for the latter. The truth is, there are saints and there are sinners, but the vast majority of us are somewhere in the middle.

Most people’s journey to becoming homeless, myself included, deserves neither approbation nor censure. Unforeseen circumstances combined with some bad choices put me there. I take responsibility for those choices, but it is irrationally cruel to deny that life – health, security, family – includes elements of unpredictability. I made plenty of mistakes while financially secure; the fat of a generous monthly salary absorbed them. I made fewer mistakes once my finances began to decline, but each and every one was punished with severity. Poverty is not unforgivable. It is unforgiving. A friend recently described the situation of moving from shelter to shelter with her kids: “Things wear out and don’t get replaced. You wear out and there’s nothing to replace.”

While I was sofa-surfing, relying on the charity of those around me, the state refused to help. My circumstances were simply not desperate enough, even though my trajectory was utterly predictable. By the time I became properly homeless, I had become so itinerant that I couldn’t demonstrate a “sufficient local connection” to any council. And that is my point. It is much more expensive to rescue someone who has fallen through the safety net than to fix the fabric of the net. “We’ve given councils nearly £1bn to tackle homelessness and to support people affected by the welfare reforms, so I am very clear that they should be fully able to meet their legal responsibility,” says housing minister Kris Hopkins. We gave a billion pounds. We did our best.

A minister acts within the confines of the political space we permit. There is an intellectual inconsistency to supporting measures that exile people to the desert of poverty, then shedding a tear during the season of goodwill for those who find themselves there. We deny the existence of such misery, refuse to let it inform our political choices and then wring our hands at the reality. Homelessness doesn’t just happen. Cuts in local authority budgets and mental health services, police budgets unable to cope with domestic violence, an arbitrary benefit cap, a penalty on spare rooms, the sale and lack of replenishment of social housing stock, the hardening of rules on squatting – all these things make it happen.

It is not enough to get a pang of guilt around Christmas time, when a charity forces us to face the reality of people living in abject poverty. We are the seventh richest country in the world. The shame of poverty is all of ours to share, all year round.

Homelessness news – Homeless man loses benefits after police return money he found on street.

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Am sorry but this as shocked us.

A homeless man who handed in a wad of cash he found on the street has been stripped of his benefits.

James Brady had no place to live when he found £530 after leaving a local shelter in April but immediately turned the cash over to police.

He was allowed to keep the money six months later after no one came forward to claim it, but his good deed has proved costly.

Mr Brady, who has recently found housing, had his government benefits suspended when he failed to report the new income.

HOMELESSNESS NEWS – People of London, take your old coats to Waterloo, Kings Cross, London Bridge, Canary Wharf, Victoria, Charing Cross, Euston, Baker Street or Highbury and Islington to donate them to the homeless!! It’s this Wednesday to Friday!

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People of London, take your old coats to Waterloo, Kings Cross, London Bridge, Canary Wharf, Victoria, Charing Cross, Euston, Baker Street or Highbury and Islington to donate them to the homeless!! It’s this Wednesday to Friday.

Time-Lapse Shows Incredible Transformation of Homeless Veteran’s Life. Sometimes, what’s on the outside can count.

Sometimes, what’s on the outside can count.

In the decades since returning home from service, U.S. Army veteran Jim Wolf has faced poverty, homelessness and alcoholism. But with a bit of physical transformation, he finally found a way to turn things around.

Inspired by Dove’s “evolution” ad series, Rob Bliss Creative and Degage Ministries, a charity that works with veterans, created a video that showed Wolf getting a haircut and new clothes to help transform his life. The video was released this week in honor of Veteran’s Day.

While the changes in Wolf’s outward appearance are clearly evident in the time-lapse video, it’s the shift in his outlook on life that is less tangible but much more powerful

Number of homeless families with children in B&Bs highest in a decade

A homeless family living in a B&B

New research also shows over a third of the 2,090 families living in B&Bs have been doing so beyond the legal limit of six weeks.

More families with children are living in bed and breakfast accommodation in England than for almost 10 years. There are 2,090 families living in this form of emergency housing, an increase of 8% on 2012, government figures show.

Homelesness legislation stipulates that bed and breakfasts should be avoided for families, but their use has been rising since 2009. The legislation also states that families should be in B&Bs for no longer than six weeks, but 760 of the 2,090 families had been living there longer at the end of June – a 10% increase on last year, according to research published by the housing charity Shelter.

More than 43,000 homeless households with children were living in other forms of emergency temporary accommodation – usually privately rented short-term flats, which are expensive – an increase of 9% on last year. Homeless families in this kind of emergency accommodation fell between 2005 and 2010, after a government commitment to halve the number by 2010, but they have been rising again since June 2011.

Research by Shelter, based on interviews with 25 families who were, or had recently been, living in B&Bs, found that most felt unsafe. Almost half said their children had witnessed disturbing incidents, including threats of violence, sexual offences and drug use and dealing.

“One of the reasons we left was one of the residents trying to sell us crack cocaine,” a mother of three told the charity.

Most of the families lived in one room, and half said their children were sharing beds with their parents or siblings. Twenty-two said it was very difficult to find a safe place for their children to play, 12 had to share kitchen facilities, and three had no cooking facilities. One family reported sharing a cooker and a fridge with 22 other people.

Two-thirds of the families interviewed said their children had no table to eat on, more than half had to share a bathroom or toilet with strangers, and 10 families shared with seven or more other people. Schoolchildren found it difficult to do homework.

Most said their children’s health had suffered through living in B&Bs. “It’s so hard to give him a balanced diet as it’s impossible to make proper meals here,” a mother said.

“I try to cook because it’s cheaper. but I can’t put stuff in the fridge because it’s too small so I can’t use fresh stuff. I’m using stuff in tins all the time,” said another.

The cramped nature of the accommodation was difficult for most families. “It was so unbearable eating on our beds, we had to go out a bit and obviously that is very expensive,” a mother said. A father told the charity: “You have 12 square metres, and have to spend all your time in this space. We didn’t want to open the door because the house was full of strangers.”

Campbell Robb, the chief executive of Shelter, said: “Our shocking findings have uncovered the shameful conditions homeless children will be living in this Christmas. Parents and children sharing beds, children forced to eat on the floor and being threatened with violence in the place they live. This shouldn’t be happening in 21st-century Britain.”

The housing minister, Kris Hopkins, said: “We’ve given councils nearly £1bn to tackle homelessness and to support people affected by the welfare reforms, so I am very clear that they should be fully able to meet their legal responsibility to house families in suitable accommodation.

“Families should only be placed in bed and breakfast accommodation in an emergency, and even then for no more than six weeks. The funding we’ve given, and our change in the law to enable families to be placed in suitable, affordable private rented homes, means there is no excuse for councils to breach this.”

Our film director Johnny Lynch of ‘Homelessness’ producer ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ takes on the subject of child abuse in his next film

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Pleased to be able to tell you I have been asked to work with a new award winning Italian Director/Producer Flaminia Graziadei and Producer Michèle Wheeler from LonRom Film Production and Producer Sue Green from Fierce Cat Media, on a new film ‘The Final Haunting’ a psychological dark thriller with a twist, about the mental consequences of child abuse starting in November.

Synopsis – Whilst stranded in a dilapidated house, a young woman must struggle to save both her sanity and the child in her care from an evil killer whose reach extends across time and death. The story takes the viewer into a world where nothing is as it seems. ‘The Final Haunting’ probes terrifying and realistic 20th century issues and illustrates how levels of psychological illness primarily brought about by abusive male figures can lead to tragic consequences.

The film can count on International exposure, given the world wide distribution LonRom Film and Director Flaminia Graziadei have already a proven track record in film production with films such as ‘I believe in Monsters’ and ‘Inside out’, award winner at the London Independent Film Festival 2013.

‘Inside Ou’t approaches the theme of panic attacks and has been screened in several Internationals Film festivals , from the ECU of Paris and the Lab Film festival of London, to the Opencinema of St. Petersburg, from the “In The Palace” of Bulgaria to the Shining Light in Indiana, USA and the Toronto Independent Film Festival. ‘I believe in Monsters’ is about to be released to the Film Festival Circuit (November 2013) and is a suspended short drama about child abuse and domestic violence This leads, as a kind of prequel, to their first feature The Final Haunting.

One of the reasons for taking this on is I know it will give me an incredible insight into this problem that so many people face when it comes to child abuse and although the production project is of course fiction and it will be for myself personally a bit like how I take on any project as I know it will be a journey. Although I know the final destination which is when the film is finished and where I will set off from which will be the start. I will find the road in between, which is the making of the film a path that will bring a lot to my door. Whether that be emotion, knowledge, problem solving, etc I welcome the time I will be on the film knowing what I learn will give me a wider insight to this problem that so many people endure but is so wrong to face..

Its heartbreaking to know so many people don’t come forward though for all sorts of reasons so I only hope that however a message comes across in fact or fiction that it resonates with someone who is suffering in silence to speak out. Just the other day I was saying what I have realised since I started working in film is that am privileged to see the diversity of all walks of life as all the scripts however sectionalised to sell are at there core about someone and at most someone we know in our own lifes. That gives me an incredible insightful and personal look at the people we come into contact with and that is the real privilege I am so lucky to have.

Will just say its a honour for me to do this.

Thanks for reading.

Johnny Lynch

So after an exhaustive and nearly 4 months of trying to get funding from C4 I got this short and curt message back this morning.

Date: 2013-10-22 09:55:52
From: BRITDOC


Thank you for submitting your proposal to the BRITDOC Channel 4 Fund.

With a limited funding pot and a high number of proposals, I am afraid this is not going to be a priority project for us. Please be assured that your project was fully considered.

Unfortunately due to being a very small team we are unable to give more detailed feedback on projects. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

Best of luck with your film. For some alternate funding opportunities do take a look at britdoc.org/resources and consider applying for funding with BRITDOC on future projects.

Kind regards,

Luke Moody
Grants Officer

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Thanks for the that incisive reply Luke.

Maybe you would like to do something that would be in a more positive light and sponsor me for Crisis at Christmas?

I’m raising money for Crisis the homeless charity by taking part in Sponsor a Volunteer 2013 and working in one of the outreach centres over the festive season,
Please help some of the UK’s most vulnerable people at Christmas this year.at www.virginmoneygiving.com/JohnnyLynch