Help Bristol’s Homeless have given their backing to the campaign to provide housing and end of life care to homeless people who are diagnosed with terminal illnesses.
Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey presented his Ten-minute rule bill in 2018 on the issue and is due to have its second reading on Friday. The bill will make provisions about end of life care and support for homeless people with terminal illnesses, including through the provision of housing for such people; and for connected purposes, support which is currently inaccessible.
ONS statistics released in December revealed that an estimated 597 homeless people died in England and Wales in 2017, with many dying as a result of long-term fatal illnesses. As a result, the average life expectancy for homeless people is between only 42 and 47.
Jasper Thompson, founder of Help Bristol’s Homeless, said:
“Everyone should be entitled to live out their last weeks and months in a safe and secure place with dignity.
"The homeless community should not have to have the additional worry of how they are going to manage their end of life diagnosis and instead it should be automatic that they are accommodated.”
James Cox, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Bristol West, added:
“It’s great to have Jasper and his team’s support for this vital campaign to ensure that everyone in our community has a right to dignity in death.
“Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is one of the most frightening things a person can go through. Knowing that you will likely spend your final days on the streets alone and in pain must be a terror which is beyond most of our imaginations.
“This is a campaign on dignity that I believe Bristol and the rest of the country can get behind. We are asking the government to make this small change that can make such a huge difference. I’m proud to start it here and I look forward to where it can go.
“In the 21st century, it’s a scandal that people are dying on our streets with no home and often in great pain.
“Liberal Democrats demand better. We must change the law so anyone that is terminally ill gets the treatment, the shelter, and the dignity they deserve.”