Rough sleeping figures have increased in England for the sixth year in a row, and furniture reuse schemes have become the beacon of hope for the homeless.
The Furniture Re-use Network supports more than 200 charities who refurbish old or discarded items for the homeless sleepers.
According to Positive News, an estimated 4,134 people slept rough in 2016 which is an increase of 16 percent from 2015. Meanwhile, out of the 10 million household items annually sent to landfill, 3 million could be reused.
Westminster in London, Brighton and Hove, Cornwall, Manchester and Luton, followed by Bristol are main areas where rough sleeping is prominently present. Along with Furniture Re-use Network is Changing Lives, which helps also several homeless shelters in Bristol.
One of the many people who sought help from Changing Lives was Jack. Talking about his life on the street, Jack says,“When you are on the streets, people look right through you. You are invisible to them. They look away, but in some ways, I was grateful. I wanted to be invisible. I didn’t want people to see me.”
“With the cuts to homeless services, the work we do becomes even more important,” says Jack, “When you are on the streets you feel like you have no purpose. No reason to get up in the morning. Nowhere to be. Charities like Changing Lives can give you a light at the end of a horrendously dark tunnel. They literally changed my life.”
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