Crisis response to The Times stories

Today (14 October 2021), The Times published two pieces about homelessness on their news site. 

The first was a joint opinion piece between our Chief Executive and former Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick MP, which is reflective of our shared views around the need for this current government to prioritise ending rough sleeping across the country and how they can best do this. This piece accurately reflects our views as an organisation. 

The second was a news piece focussed on Robert Jenrick MPs own views elaborating on what the current government need to do to end rough sleeping.  

Whilst we agree with the views expressed in the piece on the importance of effective mental health and substance misuse support services in preventing and ending homelessness, there is also some information and views included that we disagree with as an organisation. 

The story suggests that to help non-UK nationals rough sleeping in the UK, the Home Office should either grant them settled status or return them to their home country.

We are strongly opposed to forced deportation of people facing homelessness, feel this policy has no place in our society and have campaigned heavily for the reversal of this policy over the past year. Reconnection to a person’s country of origin should only be an option on a voluntary basis, when a person has given their informed consent and support is available for them once reconnected.

The story also conflates all non-UK citizens on our streets with ‘illegal migrants’ specifically, which is an inaccurate and misleading suggestion. Many people on our streets who are originally from another country have legal status in the UK such as settled status or a visa. 

At Crisis, we are committed to helping people facing homelessness to leave it behind for good, regardless of where they come from.