Christian homelessness charity Housing Justice has reacted to the publication of the statutory homelessness figures yesterday by calling on churches to take practical measures to prevent homelessness. The government figures show that for the fifth quarter in a row over 100,000 families in England and Wales are homeless and living in temporary accommodation including, it is estimated, 150,000 children. On Homelessness Sunday, 29 January 2006, churches will have an opportunity to reflect on the problems of homelessness and what they can do to lessen or prevent the effects. Director of External Affairs at Housing Justice Alison Gelder commented "Housing Justice is calling on churches to build happiness by taking practical action to prevent homelessness." "We know many churches are already picking up the pieces of broken lives by helping homeless people who fall outside the government's statistics - single men, destitute asylum seekers and people from countries like Poland who have come here to work and fallen on hard times." "We don't want churches to do the government's job for them but where there are actions we can take we should do them. Whether it is by helping people to stay in their homes through befriending, supporting housing and debt advice services or by encouraging the building of appropriate and affordable housing in our local areas churches have a role to play in preventing homelessness." Source: HJ
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