My Wish for World Homeless Day 2020

This Saturday is World Homeless Day and people all around the world will be marking the day in lots of ways to raise awareness and funds.

But I really wish we didn't have a World Homeless Day.

I wish we had much more affordable housing. I wish affordable housing was actually affordable. I wish we had more good quality housing, with proper heating and facilities. I wish we had ten and twenty year tenancies like Germany, where it's normal to rent. I wish people didn't feel they have failed if they don't get onto the property ladder. I wish we had more social housing to help those who are struggling to even put a roof over their heads.

I wish we had more jobs. I wish we had better paid jobs with more job security. I wish employers would take a chance on people who might not seem on paper like the best person, with a perfect linear life. I wish employers would invest in training for their managers to help people develop their skills. I wish employers would invest in their people and understand that when you've been given a second or third chance, you're more likely to want to stay and do a great job for someone who believes in you.

I wish we had more support for people stuck in a cycle of trauma, poor mental health and addiction. I wish there was proper funding for drug and alcohol services and for mental health services. I wish we would invest in our NHS. I wish we all had a close network of families and friends to support us through bad times. I wish our communities would be so connected that if someone didn't see you for a day, they would knock on your door to check you are ok. I wish we had more youth clubs and day centres for people who are lonely or need something to give purpose to their day. I wish we wouldn't be so judgemental about people who don't fit into neat little boxes.

In fact, that's what Barnabus is working towards. This World Homeless Day, it's not just your money we want. We want your hearts and minds too. Write to your MP about our wishes if that's your wish too, and help us create a fairer society where everyone can thrive.

Barnabus are passionate about ending the revolving door of homelessness, this is just one story of how we help people back into independent living away from the streets