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.
There will be many people who read the headline on this article and think 'it's not my problem.' Yet the majority of us are only a paycheck away from not being able to pay the mortgage. The journey from home-ownership to rough sleeping can be a short and brutal one. So spare a thought for the homeless this 2014. It could be you.
The Big Issue is still revolutionary. That is quite something for a magazine launched 22 years ago. In 1991 John Bird and the Body Shop's Gordon Roddick set about providing the homeless, those at risk of losing their home and those at the very margins of society with a legitimate means of making a living. This has remained the constant ever since.
From then, each month now has a designated charity aim, with January's 'dryathalon' all the way to 'Stoptober'. Alongside these, people will be engaging in so-called fun runs and comedy nights across the country. What's wrong with that? It's all for a good cause, they say as they proffer their jangling buckets.
Homelessness services help more than 40,000 people each year to take steps towards leaving these problems behind, but budget cuts are putting the future of these projects in serious danger. Can we really afford to not help? We need to argue that an investment in helping someone who is homeless today to realise their potential tomorrow is one worth making...