73 petitions

Update posted 7 days ago

Petition to Sadiq Khan

Stop London’s biggest emergency winter shelter for the homeless from being evicted!

OVER 100 OF LONDON’S ROUGH SLEEPERS FACING EVICTION FROM SOFIA SOLIDARITY CENTRE - WE DEMAND TO REMAIN - HOW YOU CAN HELP - We, the residents of the self-organised Sofia Solidarity Centre at 204 Great Portland Street, have received a possession order. The case will be heard at Central London County Court, The Strand, on Wednesday 14th March, at 2pm. We occupied this building solely to keep Londoners from freezing to death on our streets. If officially recognised, we would currently be the largest homeless shelter in London, offering shelter to over 100 vulnerable individuals every night. We are open 24/7 and unconditionally to all-comers. WHAT IS THE SOFIA SOLIDARITY CENTRE? We are open 24/7 and unconditionally to all-comers, including many who could never set foot inside the sometimes hostile, always overstretched, and desperately underfunded hostel system. We provide over 100 of London’s most vulnerable rough sleepers with beds, hot food and drinks, toiletries and an environment where they can sleep well and recover from stress, sleep deprivation and in some cases hypothermia. This building stood empty and derelict for five years, until we transformed it within a week. Its Jersey-registered owners pay a mere £40 a month in rent as they sit and watch it grow in value. Now they are taking us to court to have our homeless residents thrown into the freezing London streets. WE DEMAND: - to be allowed to remain in this building until the development/demolition begins, and the multi-million-pound penthouses upstairs are also vacated - that empty commercial buildings are opened to house London's additional homeless, immediately and unconditionally - immediate provision of free-at-the-point-of-use social housing HOW YOU CAN HELP: - sign this petition and share it online across all platforms - raise your voice online: Tweet Sadiq Khan with the message below, and contact other relevant politicians, activists and media - raise your voice in the streets: join us at the court at 2.00PM on Wednesday 14 March at Central London County Court, The Strand - come down to the Centre at 204 Great Portland Street with sleeping bags, tents and winter packs/rucksacks so we’re prepared if we are forced to leave - find out what grassroots campaigns to support the homeless are happening in your area and get involved - offer specialised counselling, housing or social work support to people currently residing in the centre. We are keen to work with groups like Greenlight, Stonewall Housing, North East London Migrant Action and Groundswell to ensure all our residents are offered the best chances possible moving forward TWEET FOR SADIQ KHAN:“Hi @SadiqKhan, you've said tackling homelessness is your top priority as mayor. Over 100 of the most vulnerable rough sleepers in London stand to be evicted from the Sofia Solidarity Centre at 204 Great Portland Street this week. Please intervene to save our Centre!”   If we were a registered charity, we would be raking in upwards of £8,000 PER NIGHT, from the government. As it is we've received no funding from the public, or the government, during our time here, and everything has been purchased/donated by the public/gifted by a small number of retailers. Residents contribute their time, skills and energy free of charge. We don't think homelessness should be monetised, we think it is a societal issue that should be prevented through adequate governmental policy and sufficient building of social housing. There are a variety of reasons for their homelessness; mental health (PTSD, psychosis), drug addiction, alcohol dependency, family breakdown, redundancy, childhood abuse, high house prices/rent, lack of probation support, diminished numbers of social/council housing, etc. We feel the leading causes of homelessness are; + A failure to address mental health issues (vastly intensified by recent cuts to mental health funding, and the number of beds) + Lack of availability of talking therapy + Low job security + Benefit cuts + Sanctions + Work capability assessments + Roll out of Universal Credit + Delays and rent payments direct to landlords + Reduction of benefits support to under-25s + Changes from DLA & ESA to PIP (where most people who have been living with disabilities are finding that the money that has been allocated in order for them to live fully functional lives has been drastically reduced, leaving them prisoners in their own home, or facing homelessness). + council gatekeeping scaring people away from making homeless applications + the 'single service offer' model by homelessness charities Many people we host just want to feel part of society; social housing is a priority. For those that don't feel comfortable with a roof over their heads, there should be some form of day centre, to keep them occupied during the day. We feel that there is a desperate need for social housing, facilitating access to; medical and mental health care, alcohol and drug dependency treatment, integration with the local community, shared facilities (to encourage residents to interact with each other), and shared responsibilities. We believe in solidarity not charity, and in empowering people to organise themselves to find solutions to this brutal crisis. Enough is enough - don’t let what we’ve built here be thrown away due to property developers’ greed.

Sofia Solidarity Centre
4,428 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to BOROUGH OF POOLE COUNCIL, Andy Hadley, Andy Garner-Watts, Mark Howell

Remove the PSPO targeting the Homeless in Poole.

Homeless people sleeping rough in Poole town centre, and beggars asking for money for food are to be banned and fined by Conservative-controlled Poole Council. A draft proposal to carry out this threat, published last September, was immediately slammed by Poole Labour Party and local church groups as being cruel and uncaring, victimising those who the system had already let down. But the proposal, called a ‘Public Spaces Protection Order’ came into force on 1 February, despite the protests. Poole Labour had found overwhelming anger among local residents about the targeting of homeless people in the draft order, and demanded the council get rid of the offending clauses. But under the final order, homeless people are banned from bedding down ‘in any doorway belonging to any retail, licenced or commercial premises or in any multi-storey car park between 8am and midnight’. And people begging are ‘prohibited from sitting … in a public place with any receptacle used to contain money from the public’ as well as being banned from verbally asking for money or food. Anyone who does any of this can be convicted and fined up to £1,000. The draft proposal was the subject of a public consultation. Poole Labour Party is demanding the council over turn this decision after seeing the results confirmed people did not request this action. Katie Taylor, Chair of Poole Labour Party, said: ‘’ I believe Poole Labour’s campaign has stopped the Conservatives on the council from directly branding the homeless in the town centre as criminals, which is what they wanted to do in the original order, but the callousness of the clauses banning the homeless from sleeping rough remains breath-taking. “It is the Conservative-controlled council’s failure to provide sufficient affordable housing combined with their own government’s clamp-down on benefits for those in need, which are the root causes of the horrifying increase in homelessness. For the uncaring, local Conservatives to now penalise those who are victims of their party’s own policies is appalling. These people need help, not punishment. The mere suggestion of fining the homeless still turns these vulnerable people into criminals in the eyes of the public, fostering suspicion rather than sympathy and shielding the real issues of austerity. “In light of the tragic death of the homeless man ‘Kev’ in Bournemouth recently, Poole Council should think very carefully about these measures. I urge them to remove the clauses which will allow for a ban and fines for sleeping in doorways and car parks. When exposed to the bad weather and biting cold these places might be the only shelter the homeless can rely on.” Since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, homelessness in the UK has more than doubled according to the government’s own figures. The most up to date statistics show that each night 4,751 people slept rough on Britain’s streets throughout Autumn 2017. We expect the homeless to be treated with compassion, not cruelty. Poole Council, remove the clauses in the PSPO which are needlessly targeting those who are the most vulnerable. 

Poole Labour Party
4,216 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Jeff Bezos,, Amazon

Jeff Bezos: Use your vast personal wealth to end homelessness overnight.

While exact numbers cannot be easily determined, Habitat for Humanity estimated in 2015 that approximately 1.6 billion people live in 'inadequate shelter.' In 2017, there were approximately 554,000 people sleeping on the streets in the United States per night. 307,000 people slept rough per night in my home country (UK) as of 2016. Jeff Bezos' net worth is currently somewhere in the range of 128 billion USD and is predicted to grow to somewhere in the realm of 200 billion USD by the end of 2018. Bezos could comfortably provide every single rough sleeper on the planet with 100k USD, barely denting his own personal wealth but saving millions of lives and heroically improving the conditions of vulnerable people the world over. Even a sum far lower than this would be enough to get the majority of rough sleepers into suitable accommodation, as well as providing them with the freedom and security to put their lives back on track. It could cover food, heating and electricity, clothing, education, transport costs, and healthcare including mental health support and alcohol/substance abuse recovery for those who require it. Distributing the money directly to the individual recipients would be near impossible to achieve, but it could be allocated to homelessness charities and aid organisations of Bezos' choice who would ensure that it is put to its intended use. Homelessness kills. If you witnessed a man drowning and were holding a flotation aid in your hand, you would throw it to him. It would be morally imperative for you to do so. It is a moral imperative that Bezos extends a compassionate arm and throws his life ring. It is the natural and human thing to do. Mr Bezos, you have the power to become the greatest humanitarian of your generation, improving the lives of the world's most unfortunate on an unprecedented scale. I, and all those who sign this petition, implore you to do so.

Ezekiel Wallis
11 supporters