Project launch aims to highlight “hidden homeless”

An event aiming to highlight the problem of the “hidden homeless” is to be held in Bethnal Green on World Homeless Day next month.

Long-standing East London charity Quaker Social Action is putting on an evening of short films and talks at The Gallery Cafe, Bethnal Green, in an attempt to raise awareness of people who are not forced to sleep rough, but have no access to a home or a bed of their own.

The evening will include talks from people reflecting on their own experiences of sleeping on friends’ floors or sofa surfing as they struggle to cope with the increasingly competitive London housing market.

Marike van Harskamp is leading a project called Homelink to try to tackle the problem by encouraging people with spare rooms to young or disadvantaged Londoners.

He said: “Renting out a room is a very practical and also sociable way of getting some extra income. Apart from the obvious financial benefit, people often also like the security and company of someone living in the house.”

The event is to be held at The Gallery Cafe in Old Ford Road on Tuesday, October 9 from 7pm.

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