Here is the latest report from Barnet:
A Place of Change
For over 20 years Homeless Action in Barnet (HAB) has been tackling the issues connected with homelessness and those who are ‘vulnerably housed’ in the London Borough of Barnet. Situated to the north of London, within the M25 circle, Barnet is the fourth largest London Borough, covering 33 square miles, with approximately 393,000 inhabitants - the biggest LB by population.
A study from Shelter in November 2017 ranked Barnet as having the 17th highest number of homeless people in the UK: one in 55 people were recorded as being homeless in the borough, with 22 sleeping rough and 7,011 living in temporary accommodation.
Barnet Council’s Homeless and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-2024 states: ‘The impact of homelessness is broad and far reaching. It is clear that preventing homelessness has obvious benefits not only for people’s housing outcomes, but for reducing health inequalities and improving quality of life.’
HAB Centre’s team of 12 staff are assisted by volunteers to assist about 60-70 clients per day who visit HAB’s drop-in centre which is open weekdays. By the front door a banner reads ‘A Place of Change’. Food, clothing, healthcare, counselling, advocacy, showers, laundry, winter night shelter and assistance with applications for benefits, housing, job training etc are some of the aspects within HAB’s remit. The running costs of this vital, life-changing charity are met by grants and donations, amounting to thousands of pounds.
HAB is one of the main local charities supported by Barnet Ecclesia, more especially as we are experiencing at first hand, those who are interested in Christianity and have escaped life-threatening regimes to seek asylum in Britain, but with no place to call home here.
We are pleased to support COG in their outreach efforts and our mission to be a place of welcome for anyone who wants to know more about the Gospel message. COG’s sleeping bag appeal of 2017 was well received by HAB who were delighted to hear of the rucksacs and knitted hats campaign planned for winter 2018/19.
Just before Christmas COG provided Barnet Ecclesia with 20 rucksacs and we supplemented each bag with a hand-knitted hat, a copy of ‘The Bible, The Lord Jesus & You’ booklet, a tiny book-light torch plus a bar of Kendal Mint Cake. These were happily received by HAB as much as they were happily delivered by us.