Monday, 13 April 2015

Oxford to criminalise rough sleeping homeless, what the Fuck Homes for all Time for Action #olsx @occupynn

I work with a local homelessness group in Oxford. There is a housing crisis in the city, and nearly everyday I see people, just like you and me, who have been made homeless because of bad luck, relationship breakdown or money problems. Now, the Council are trying to sweep the issue under the rug by criminalising rough sleeping in the city centre. 
I am calling on Oxford City Council to remove a ban on rough sleeping from their list of new proposals. The council can’t gloss over the long term issue of homelessness and discriminate against Oxford’s rough sleepers. That is why I have started this petition. 
This proposed ban is an attempt to hide the huge housing crisis that Oxford faces, rather than suggesting positive solutions for those who have fallen on bad times. On a daily basis I see the terrible effect that discriminating against these vulnerable people can have. When the homeless are less visible, they become more at risk. All banning rough sleepers will do is stigmatise homeless people even more.
Oxford has done great work supporting homeless people, lets not give the council the opportunity to undo this incredible work. Public pressure stopped homelessness from being hidden in Westminster and in Manchester, and we will do this in Oxford as well.  
Rough sleepers may make some residents 'feel uncomfortable', but they are not an inconvenience to deal with, or a threat. These people are individuals who need our help. The council wants our city to be perfect and picturesque but Oxford is a living, breathing, diverse city. We shouldn’t try to hide this.
Thank you,
Freya Turner and the On Your Doorstep campaign

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