Prince William’s Initiative to Fight Homelessness
Always committed to defending the weakest, Lady Diana wanted her eldest son, Prince William, to experience firsthand the drama of the homeless. And when her firstborn was 11 years old, she took him to visit a homeless shelter in the London district of Vauxhall. An experience that must have marked the heir to the throne, so much so that today, thirty years later, the Prince of Wales has returned to the Lambeth district (of which Vauxhall is part) to carry on and conclude his mother’s work: to fight the scourge of the homeless. William intends to do this through the initiative called Homewards, with which he has allocated 3 million pounds (just under 3.5 million euros): the money, which will still only be “seed capital”, will be divided between six different locations in the British capital to intervene and make sure that episodes of homeless people become “rare, short and non-recurring”.
The Growing Homelessness Phenomenon
While now the phenomenon, which has grown uncontrollably in recent years, has enormous figures: it is estimated that there are at least 300,000 homeless people in the whole country, and according to The Guardian (citing a government survey) in February, on a single night, 3,069 homeless people were counted in the country, 26% more than 2021 and even 74% more than in 2010. Data that has prompted 30 charities dealing with the phenomenon to write a concerned letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressing their fear that the intervention objectives (funded by the government with 2 billion pounds – 2.33 billion euros – in the 2022-2025 triennium to offer a stable home to the homeless) will not lead to the desired results.
Prince William’s Efforts to Help the Homeless
This is where the Prince William’s campaign fits in, who during his speech acknowledged the merit of Lady Diana in inspiring him to intervene in the fight against this scourge. “The visits we made,” said the heir to the throne referring to the meeting of 1993 in Vauxhall, “have left a deep and lasting impression. I have met many extraordinary people and heard many heartbreaking personal stories. Too many people have found themselves without a stable and permanent place to call home.” And through this experience, he explained, “I have seen firsthand the breadth and complexity of the homeless phenomenon.” A phenomenon that he was able to experience more recently. Last year, incognito, William had “disguised” himself as a Big Issue seller (a magazine that is sold on the street and whose proceeds are used to help the homeless, just like the Scarp de’ tennis initiative in Milan), and now he has once again thanked “Dave Wilson, who gave me the opportunity to sell Big Issue last summer”.