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    Vending Machines For UKs Rough Sleepers, 'Stopgap, Not Solution'

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    Homelessness in England is a "national crisis" according to a committee of MPs, leaving small charities no choice but to take matters into their own hands.

    In Nottingham, charity Action Hunger, is providing card operated vending machines on the street to allow rough sleepers access to essential items during the crisis. However these vending machines, are just a "stop gap" not a "solution" founder and director Huzaifah Khaled told Sputnik. 

    "We're not seeking to supplant the work carried out by charities, Crisis or Shelter to tackle homelessness, we exist as a stop gap."

    "In an ideal world I wouldn't have founded this charity, I wouldn't have created the vending machines but they are necessary because many homeless day centers are only open for a couple of hours a day," Mr. Khaled explains. 

    "Foodbanks symbolize a failure in government policy to sufficiently tackle poverty in low income families; vending machines for homeless people are a symbol of its failure to tackle rough sleepers on our streets," Mr. Khaled told Sputnik.

    Mr. Khaled explains that the machines are accessed using a card — the card is only available to people who attend local day centers where they are encouraged to seek long term solutions to their situation.

    "These vending machines are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. offering sandwiches, hats, gloves, water, foil blankets, sanitary products, a multitude of products. We don't want to encourage rough sleeping, we want them to find long term solutions. It's crucial they attend centers like the Friary in Nottingham."

    Public Accounts Committee report reveals almost ten thousand people are sleeping rough in England and almost 80,000 households are in temporary accommodation, including 120,000 children.

    "Local authorities are finding it harder to provide advice and assistance that will effectively prevent people from becoming homeless, and are having to divert more of their funding into tackling homelessness after it occurs," the report states.

    The British government says it is investing more than US$ 1.34 billion (£1 billion) on the problem of homelessness, which is the legal definition for rough sleepers, single people staying in hostels and those in temporary accommodation. The Department says it wants to abolish rough sleeping by 2027.


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