Friday, July 14, 2006

Government Report - Tackling homelessness

The issue of "homelessness" is directly related to a number of the RSA's manifesto Challenges . The forthcoming issue of the RSA Journal will contain an article on homelessness written by John Bird (pictured left), entrepreneur and co-creator of popular magazine "The Big Issue". The Big Issue is "the most successful social business in the UK", combining hard-hitting current affairs journalism with a social enterprise that provides homeless street vendors with the opportunity to work themselves out of poverty.

This contribution to the RSA Journal is a continuation of Bird's significant campaigning on issues of homelessness. Bird has been highly vocal in his criticisms of the way the British "homeless industry" has focused on treating the short-term symptoms rather than long term causes of homelessness. A
Guardian article summarizing a talk Bird gave to a Conservative Party organized summit on homelessness in 2005 provides an example of his message. In his forthcoming article for the RSA Journal, Bird turns his attention to the role of government in tackling homelessness, arguing that government provision for homeless people robs them of the opportunity to create meaning and direction in their own lives.

The Government's most recent report on homelessness is available to download:
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Tackling homelessness - thirteenth report of session 2005 - 06.

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