Well firstly I'd like to say a big thank you to all the people that gave up their time at Christmas volunteering. Now to answer the comment from cynical Donnard. The information that I have is that no one except for crisis staff who work all year round where paid. Learning skill workers gave their time voluntary . No one at the shelters got paid. Things have changed since the days of Helen (ex director of skylight). This year people wanted to give up their time and if you recall it was year of the volunteer. I even worked as volunteer and did the whole seven days and quite a few hours extra and as usual I got told off. As to your comment that it suits the homeless industry to keep people homeless. Well, firstly there wouldn't have been any need for homeless charities if years ago it had been realized that we had a serious homeless problem. Since the Cathy come home film, homelessness was put in the spotlight. It has now once again become a problem that's in the background. No one wants to admit that we still have a problem and that's why we have so many charities dealing with homelessness. Not all homeless charities think that putting people in hostels is the answer but how do you help someone with a drink or drugs problem or even a mental health one. You can't put someone in a flat and expect them to cope with keeping a flat and cope with whatever they are suffering from. That to me would be a waste of time and money because they'd be back on the streets in no time at all.
Yes you're right about the benefit trap but everyone that's sick or unemployed gets caught in it sooner or later. This is what I think causes the most suffering not only for homeless people but for everyone. Being dependent on benefits can become soul destroying and getting out of it is such a hard task.
you say if you were offered a flat up north you would jump at the chance. You must remember that there are some people not as confident as you. They know they need help and charities like crisis are there to assist them in learning