Islamic Society of Britain welcomes efforts to tackle rough sleeping

7th July 2011

The Islamic Society of Britain (ISB) welcomes yesterday’s announcement, by Housing Minister Grant Shapps, that the Government’s ‘No Second Night Out’ project to tackle rough sleeping is to be rolled out nationally. A new ‘Homelessness Transition Fund’ will try to put an end to rough sleeping.

The incoming President of the ISB, Dilwar Hussain, said, “The ‘No Second Night Out’ project helps to tackle inequity, one of the great social challenges in our midst. A decent shelter is more than a safe place to sleep; it is a statement of our humanity – that every person’s dignity is protected and respected”.

“Community led projects have been doing so much in this area. Take the sterling example of Sikh Gurdwaras whose free food kitchens are open to everyone. Our Eat’n’Meet project campaigned to raise awareness of homelessness in Leicester last year, our ‘Samosa and Soup Kitchens’ that have operated in Manchester for the last 3 years, as well as similar activities in Birmingham, help to do this too. We are now in discussions to roll out such projects nationally with the support of other partners.”

The ISB Eat’n’Meet campaign was launched in November 2010 to support and help the homeless in Leicester. The project provided hot food, bags containing essential food and toiletry items, warm clothing and bedding to homeless people in winter.

As a voluntary campaign, it relied on the local community, schools and businesses for donations. Salma Ravat, Co-ordinator of the campaign said, “Homelessness affects thousands of people in this country every year. At present those who do not fit the criteria for emergency accommodation find themselves without shelter. It is vital that all the agencies supporting homeless people work together to ensure that no one has to sleep rough. We therefore welcome the additional support given to Homeless Link to support work in this area”.
Notes:
1. For further information about Eat‘n’Meet, or to arrange interviews, photography or filming of activities, please contact Salma Ravat on: mobile: 07989 698483, email: [email protected]

2. Though many charities have argued that the actual figure is much higher, even official government figures say thatnearly 2,000 people sleep rough (the most extreme form of homelessness) in the UK per night (2010).

3. The Islamic Society of Britain is a democratic, national, voluntary organisation committed to a stronger Britain, www.isb.org.uk, t: 020 7247 8088, e: [email protected]