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Showing posts from December, 2015

Passion and outrage are essential but not enough - In memory of Chris Holmes

This blog was originally published in December 2015 as one of a series of essays to commemorate  the life of Chris Holmes who made an extraordinary contribution to tackling homelessness. The complete set of essays can be found athttp://bit.ly/1O1TFxT


The speaker is in full flow and has the audience at the homelessness conference in his grip. He is a powerful speaker and his controlled anger is palpable as he jabs the air with his forefinger. It is a familiar litany of observations about how the poor are under attack and the homeless are in the firing line, their lives blighted by a series of brutal government policies and incomprehensible funding decisions taken by local authorities. Welfare benefit cuts are castigated, unimaginative local commissioning of homelessness services ridiculed and the inadequacy of the housing safety net laid bare. 

The congregation of homelessness sector representatives have heard this type of denunciation before. It is well articulated and impassioned, endin…