As a filmmaker, I've always been curious to hear people's stories. Everybody has a story to tell and the first thing I often wonder when I meet someone is what theirs is. This was the case with Naomi, the young woman whose experience sleeping rough on the streets of London inspired the story for my latest film, A Horse Called Oz.
Introducing spikes to move rough sleepers along is a selfish response to an issue we should all have a stake in tackling, be it social or economic... Anger has been understandably focussed on 118 Southwark Bridge Road, but that anger now needs to be focussed on finding a cure for what is just one symptom of a broader problem.
George Osborne has announced the Conservative Party would cut housing benefit for under-25s after the next election as part of £25billion spending cuts, removing a vital lifeline for many homeless young people who are already struggling financially. Such a move would be catastrophic for the 6,000 homeless young people Centrepoint supports each year.
Every year in the UK 80,000 young people experience homelessness, a fact known to too few but one that should trouble all of us. Tonight members of the public in eight cities will make their feelings known by giving up their beds and spending a night on the street in the largest national Sleep Out of its kind.
With more almost one million under-25s currently unemployed - including more than 76,000 who have been out of work for more than 12 months - young people like those we support at Centrepoint can find themselves a long way down the pecking order when it comes to securing a job. The simple donation of a suit can help build their confidence and raise their aspirations.
Stars gathered in the centre of Soho to serve up the nation's favourite food to homeless young people, as part of an annual event organised by Centrep...