Once again Church Leaders tell us that People are starving in GB and Food Banks have become a must for a lot of people on Radio 4 a vicar said he had homeless people sleeping in his church and he was feeding them. Very emotive statement but the question should be why are they homeless? A lot of the homeless have mental issues, many are alcoholics and drug addicts, and these are the type of people who cannot manage their lives. Here is a suggestion for those Priests; Bishops etc. who continual complain lets convert some of the Churches into Bedsits for the homeless. If you look at some of the Churches they are extremely big and most importantly they have a lot of height inside, extra floors could be put in to house accommodation a section could be left for those that wish to worship. The Government could help fund this but most of the Religious groups are very wealthy so they could fund at least 50%. Once these have been established the church could supervise all those in their care all Benefits would be looked after by the Vicar in charge they in turn could pay the dependants food, heating bills and clothing bills. As this group of people cannot manage their finances or lives in general. They need a helping hand, benefit should not be there to subsidise their bad habits, plus with supervision they could eventually enter the normality of society. Part of the funding could go to maintaining the buildings and lets be honest nearly all the Churches have a restoration which the parishes have to fund it very rarely comes out the extensive coffers of the Church.
With regard to Food Banks one Bishop said that a women came to him and said I have not eaten for three days and as expected the Bishop used this to slate the Government BUT nobody questioned why had the women not eaten for three days? Was she a drug addict or a Alcoholic? Had a anyone investigated her background i.e. where she lived, did she live alone, did she rent a property and so on? Was the Bishop telling the truth did anyone question him about the name of this individual?
As someone who rents one bedroom flats and bedsits I do have several of my Tenants on benefits and I know two of them have taken advantage of the Food Bank System. Let me give you an example Tenant 1 is 62 years old been unemployed for a year, the Department of Employment recently decided to change his entitlement and because there was a change his benefit was suspended till the new one became operative so his weekly money went from £70 to £60 and all money including Housing benefit was stopped this lasted about 2 weeks. So he went to library and collected a Food Voucher. He was asked many questions but nobody came to his flat to see if his cupboards were bare? the food was supplied by ASDA and he showed me the box which contained about £70 of various food items and if he was on an electric key he would have got help with that as well. Now the point is he did have food although not a lot and when the Department of employment sorted his claim out he was reinstated and his money was backdated. So why was he not asked to pay back what he got on the Food Bank?
A true Christian would look after the very vulnerable in our society and the Homeless are a prime example but the rest of society should aim to get the dignity of being employed, it is not Christian to sponge of others and it is not Christian for others to encourage that behaviour.
I believe the government is on the right track