Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Homelessness and Unemployment in Ipswich.

with 9 comments

Walking to Ipswich Central Library this morning I saw that homeless people had returned to camp in the porch opposite the County Council St Edmund’s House in Rope Walk.

In the town centre streets there are people begging. Every day you get somebody asking for money. Some sit there with a sign in their hands asking for a contribution.

The Government intends to make more people homeless by changing the rules on Housing Benefit. Many will be forced to move because their rents are too high, others will be kicked out because their flats or houses are too big (that is, they have an extra room).

Johnny Void (Here) suggests that the Cabinet are considering cutting all Housing Benefit for the under-25s (his source in the Telegraph – a Tory mouthpiece).

This was the ‘Big Society’ response to homelessness.

The Ipswich Winter Night Shelter, which has been running every night since 14 December, finished on Sunday 19 February. The shelter was held at seven churches across the town centre and supported by 300 volunteers from many Christian denominations, and from other faiths and none. A special service was held on 26 February to celebrate the work and to look to the future. I was unable to help with the shelter as my husband was so ill but it was a great honour to be there and to meet the many people who had helped.

The Rev’d Canon Paul Daltry, who chaired the team, said that it was wonderful to work with so many volunteers, including those of other faiths. “The Shelter has shown that we in Ipswich are waking up to acting like a community. We need to ask ‘What is God saying to the church today; what is he calling us to do next?’” The service also included a debate involving local politicians Ben Gummer our Member of Parliament, David Ellesmere, Leader of Ipswich Borough Council and County Cllr Colin Spence they debated the relationship between church contributions in this area and the work of the state agencies.

(From Here.)

Charity, may, over the Winter, have helped some people.

Though  an appeal to the Good Will of others is not the same as giving people the right to accommodation.

Now we see seriously poor people wandering the streets of our town.

They cannot jump through all the hoops of the Work Programme.

They have no benefits.

Some trail around with a tin of super-strength lager in their hands, or a bottle of white cider.

Who can blame them for trying to blot out their condition?

If this is happening in Ipswich – parts of which have more in common with inner-city London than leafy Suffolk but it is not that badly off – but the same must true on a larger scale elsewhere.

Welcome to the Big Society.


Written by Andrew Coates

April 11, 2012 at 10:54 am

9 Responses

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  1. Big Society? I call it Pig Society.

    Snouts in the trough; business as usual for the pigs.


    April 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    • wishface, your a pigface.


      August 5, 2012 at 11:55 pm

  2. Walked past a couple of homeless people today in sleeping bags in Dogs Head street under shelter part of Sainsburys next to the former building society/99p store.

    Its getting really bad, I am sure its similar story elsewhere too

    Work Programme

    April 11, 2012 at 9:49 pm

  3. Interesting report on young homelessness – a harrowing subject which is greatly underestimated:



    April 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm

  4. Wishface. your a pigface.


    August 5, 2012 at 11:54 pm

  5. Is it good to have a shelter in Ipswich?!??


    September 22, 2012 at 8:56 am

  6. Can someone help me, I’m trying to do homework!!
    Is it good to have a shelter in Ipswich or not? Xxx
    Please answer this question, thanks:)


    September 22, 2012 at 8:58 am

    • Laura,
      I am not from Ipswich but I think the question you ask is fairly universal. I suggest you turn the question around and ask “Is it good to have homeless people on the street with nowhere to go?” If the answer you give is “No, of course not!” then you have answered your own first questin.


      September 22, 2012 at 9:26 am

    • There’s been people pushing for a shelter in Ipswich for well over a decade.

      Yes, is the answer.

      Andrew Coates

      September 22, 2012 at 11:43 am

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