Editorial: Our commitment to the homeless

Image credit: Tom Dorrington

Nearly a week has passed since the news broke that a Cambridge student had been filmed burning a £20 note in front of a homeless person. The Cambridge Student joins the rest of the Cambridge community and people across the country in condemning what was both shocking and disgusting behaviour.

However, whilst the focus on this individual incident must fade away, the core problem should not be forgotten. TCS reported earlier this week that the number of people homeless in Cambridge last autumn was double what it was a year ago and the highest number for 6 years.

To just condemn the individual’s actions would be to miss the point as to why they were so thoughtless and cruel.

As such, The Cambridge Student feels strongly that it should make a long term commitment to highlighting the challenges faced by homeless people, especially in the city where we all live together.

To this end, we will be publishing a series of articles, starting next week, focusing on these challenges which we hope will inform, infuriate, and galvanise readers into action. The TCS team will also be donating to Jimmy's, a Cambridge-based charity that helps to address the issues faced by homeless people, and we hope to be volunteering with them and other local charities and organisations in the next few weeks. We would like to encourage you to do the same.

The actions of one individual have had a bearing on how the whole university is perceived. But it is not enough to distance ourselves from what happened – we have to act to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

 

In a statement on the Jimmy’s Cambridge website:

“Here at Jimmy’s we have many volunteers, friends and supporters throughout the University and colleges and we are proud of our association, not only with the student body, faculty and staff, but to all who donate by whatever means, to allow an opportunity for individuals to come in from the streets. This incident is an isolated event and it is, perhaps, more important to focus on the fact that £20 would have provided up to 20 meals for Jimmy’s guests on any given day. Tangible support for those who need it most.”

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