The hostile environment is killing the most vulnerable people. Cuts to services that our lives depend on and restrictions on who can access those services, through imaginary borders, has left people to die on the streets. The most marginalised people are afraid to access services and support, for fear of detention or deportation. This has shamed the homelessness sector and the UK. Over the last 5 years, as the situation has intensified, many grassroots community groups have formed to respond on the frontline. With the rise of the far right, hate crime towards marginalised groups and sickening physical attacks on homeless people, it often feels like this fire will never go out.
We therefore welcome the statement by Oxford, Haringey and Islington Councils confirming publicly that they do not cooperate with the Home Office. They do not want organisations within their local authority areas to be complicit with the most disgraceful practice of targeting homeless people for deportation. They will not be part of this hostile environment.
‘This is a disgrace that is brewing it's head just as the #WindrushScandal. All well-meaning people should abstain from this hideous and dangerous establishment racism.’ - Aderonke Apata, Founder of African Rainbow Family.
‘Forcing people back to a place they have fled from is abhorrent and is not a solution to homelessness. These practices have their roots in the Settlement Acts of the 1600s and they have no place in our 21st century society. It is unbelievable that such an archaic form of prejudice has echoed down the centuries and allowed today's hostile environment to flourish. We therefore welcome Haringey, Islington and Oxford Council’s recognition that all who find themselves homeless within the Borough are residents and must be treated as such.’ - Jessica & Matt Turtle - Museum of Homelessness.
We call on all local authorities to make the same commitment to their residents by making this same statement and taking the same position with their partner agencies.
If you support our call for all local authorities to make this commitment, please sign below with your name and if applicable the name of your organisation and your local authority, thank you.
*Please note that we will publish names of supporters every few days so your submission will not be anonymous*