Okay, this post is going to be a bit different.
While I try to keep this blog relatively separate from my religious and political opinions, I think it is right to speak out here on the issue of homelessness.
This blog is all about promoting the shoes-off rule. It is about valuing homes. People should value their home by taking their shoes off at the door. It is good for us to value our friends' homes and remove our shoes when we visit others. It is right and proper for hosts to encourage their guests to show respect in their homes by removing their shoes. Homes are precious things and we should value them.
Sadly, there are many people in the UK who are homeless.
Housing is a basic need. When we people lack a roof over their heads, they can suffer in so many ways. When there are people in society who are homeless, all kinds of social problems are caused.
I am proud of the fact that here in the UK, local government authorities have a legal duty to provide housing to homeless people. Nevertheless, there are still faults in the system. There are too many people living in temporary accomdodation. There are too many families who live in poor quality housing. And there are people who fall through the system completely and end up sleeping rough.
I have decided to link to Shelter, a UK charity that fights against homelessness and champions decent housing for all.
Shelter is sometimes associated with the Left of British politics. Maybe.
As a Conservative I believe that people need to be responsible for themselves. Nevertheless, I believe it is right that Britain is a welfare State. Sometimes people need help to get through crises in their lives and sometimes the state is best able to provide that help.
As housing is such a basic human need, I think that housing needs to be a clear priority of the government. We cannot deal with problems such as crime, substance abuse and educational failure without addressing issues of housing.
Remember that not everybody has an home, so treasure your own and always take your shoes off at the door.