On Wednesday 19th February 2014, HCLC Housing Solicitors Wendy Pettifer (pictured right) and Tayyabah Ahmed joined other charities and housing campaigners working in Waltham Forest to examine the issue of ‘Street’ Homelessness in the borough. Since April 2013, HCLC has been providing housing advice in Waltham Forest as there is currently no Law Centre in the borough.
The seminar was hosted by the Christian Kitchen charity, which has provided food and assistance to Waltham Forest’s homeless for over 25 years, and the Waltham Forest Advice Providers Forum which is facilitated by Voluntary Action Waltham Forest. The event was interactive with specialists, professionals and activists responding to a storyline of a homeless person falling through the borough’s ‘support’ systems despite a clear vulnerability.
Paul Dowling, Christian Kitchen Trustee, chaired the event. Other specialists who participated included Alistair Murray, Director of Housing Justice; representatives of Ascham Homes; Norman Coe, Chair of the Christian Kitchen charity; the East London Community Law Service and nurses from Whipps Cross Hospital. Stella Creasy, the Member of Parliament for Walthamstow, also attended and spoke at the event.
After focussing on the ‘support’ system scenario in the morning, the afternoon session moved on to identify potential service improvements that would comply with national housing law duties as well as satisfy wider support for the proper assistance of the destitute & homeless. Tayyabah Ahmed (pictured above) addressed this part of the seminar on behalf of HCLC.
HCLC is pleased that Wendy and Tayyabah were able to attend the event and make a good contribution to the discussion about how to better assist homeless people, and other voluntary sector agencies, working in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
CREDIT: Photos by Sanaa Mir