Budget cuts will put more people on the street, warns East End charity

A charity for the homeless in London’s deprived East End is warning that tough public spending cuts will put more people out on the streets.

Providence Row, which has been caring for the homeless for more than a century, is urging the Government to use the budget on March 23 to slow down its draconian measures.

It warns that harsh reductions could result in hefty spending in the future.

“Vulnerable people will be hit by a triple threat,” said the charity’s acting chief Lisa Harrison.

“They face rising rents, reduced housing benefit and loss of benefits under the universal credit system if they don’t get jobs.

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“Slowing down the cuts could achieve the Government’s pledge to protect the most vulnerable in society.

“But cuts too deep and too soon might increase homelessness with such a reduction in funding.”

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Living rough on the street often means minor illnesses become major because of limited access to GPs, leading to expensive hospital treatments, the charity points out.

Providence Row, meanwhile, is staging an exhibition next month to show what the homeless face in East London.

One of the people it features, James (pictured), blames the recession.

“I lost my job, my flat and my family,” he says.

James is now housed, but the charity says his story is a reminder of the struggle of poverty.

The ‘150 Voices’ exhibition is at Bethnal Green’s ‘Project Space’ in Redchurch Street, April 8-13, and can also be viewed now online at: www.150voices.com.

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