U.K. homelessness deemed ‘national crisis’ blamed on fall in benefits and social housing

The pop-up center is among 13 set up across Britain by homelessness charity Crisis to provide some festive cheer to an estimated 4,500 people who might otherwise be on the streets.

Among those stopping by for a cup of tea before Christmas was Paula, a 48-year-old former care worker who spent three months living in her car after being evicted following problems with her landlord.

“My car was my safest bet because I could lock the doors, but it wasn’t warm — luckily it was summer,” she told AFP.

It was also deeply uncomfortable and exacerbated an existing back problem, to the point that she collapsed and had to be taken to a hospital.

She has since found a new place to live, but Crisis warned that cases like hers are increasingly common, estimating that thousands of people across Britain are forced to sleep in cars, trains, buses and tents.

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