The Homelessness Charities Involved in Workfare and Benefit Sanctions

Whoever runs the twitter feed for @salvationarmyuk had obviously been on the communion wine last night as they desperately attempted to justify the organisation’s role in workfare and benefit sanctions.

They had earlier released a statement in which they claimed that Work Programme no longer had benefit penalties attached to it, echoing fake Christian Iain Duncan Smith’s claim in the Mail recently that ‘our work programme is entirely voluntary’.

Why are Christians such lying bastards?  When not filling children’s heads with nonsense they spend their time defending forced labour, despite the Bible’s clear warning to: “Pay him his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and is counting on it. Otherwise he may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin.”  (well spotted by @Arbeitsscheu_UK ).

When the sinners at Salvation Army were called on their misinformation they claimed ‘we would never fib’.  If they aren’t fibbing then they are grossly unaware of the activities of the Salvation Army and their involvement in the Work Programme.

Work Programme is a mandatory scheme under which people can be sent to work for private companies without pay for up to six months or face benefit sanctions.  Salvation Army should be well aware of this, as they not only employ Work Programme participants in their  shops, but they are sub-contractors for the Work Programme in several areas around the UK.

With the Work Programme shrouded in secrecy it is impossible to know for sure exactly what Salvation Army does.  However since they boast of referring people to work placements on their website it is quite likely that they not only make use of workfare slaves, but make money out of referring people, under threat of benefit sanction, to unpaid work.

Sadly Salvation Army are not the only homeless charity involved in forced labour and sanctioning vulnerable claimants. The full list of Work Programme sub-contracters can be viewed at: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wp-supply-chains.pdf

The following homeless charities are listed as sub-contracters to the Work Programme.  As part of this weekend’s online action against workfare why not tell them what you think:

St Mungos (@stmungos) are Work Programme sub-contracters across London,they are on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/StMungosUK and can be contacted at: info@mungos.org

The St Giles Trust are on twitter @stgilestrust on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Giles-Trust/108464042506076?ref=mf and can be contacted at this page: http://www.stgilestrust.org.uk/s/contact-us/p506/contact-st-giles-trust.html

Broadway Homelessness and Support can be contacted on twitter @broadwaycharity, and on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/broadwaycharity where they can be seen sucking up to Chris Grayling here.

Finally SHP (formerly Single Homeless Project) don’t appear to be on twitter or facebook but you can find contact details at: http://www.shp.org.uk/content/contact-us

Shelter claim to have pulled out of Work Programme, although it is not clear whether this applies to voluntary staff within the organisation, or as sub-contracters for the scheme.  You can ask them @shelter

Along with the big disability charities, all of these organisations provide mandated activity, which could include workfare.  If their users fail to attend appointments, training, or full time work they will face benefit sanctions.  Many homeless people have mental health problems and often complex health needs.  These are some of the people most vulnerable to sanctions, and they can have a truly devastating effect.  Housing Benefit is usually stopped automatically when a sanction is applied  Whilst people can re-apply this often takes some time and for those in vulnerable housing or who have rent arrears, this can mean homelessness.

Just like the disability charities, these organisations have decided that what is best for their balance sheet is also best for their service users.  Basic morality has been twisted out of all proportion in the search for hard cash.  Benefit sanctions and mandated work effectively amount to fines and community service for vulnerable people, dished out not after a criminal trial, but on the whims of Job Centre advisors and charity staff.

Workfare has become so endemic amongst charities that some have even spoken of a carrot and stick approach to working with the vulnerable, as if they have a right to beat their users.  These charities should be the most vocal in condemning this Government’s vicious assault on the vulnerable, the sick and the poor.  Instead they have happily signed contracts under which they are forbidden from criticising workfare schemes.

Along with the disability organisations and all the other charities involved in Work Programme, the homelessness charities should stand together and demand sanctions be dropped from all Welfare to Work schemes or they will have nothing more to do with this abusive scheme.

It is a damning indictment of the charitable sector when Tesco, Burger King and HMV appear to be greater defenders of the rights of vulnerable people than St Mungos and the Salvation Army.  The truth is Tesco pulled out for the same reason St Mungos are staying in.

It’s all about the money.

(above pic from: http://occupyallstreets.tumblr.com/post/17119476761)

30 responses to “The Homelessness Charities Involved in Workfare and Benefit Sanctions

  1. great piece, as ever, just one minor quibble my inner pedant needs to raise: they are homelessness charities, not homeless charities. at least as far as i can tell, in that the charities themselves are not homeless. you aren’t the only writer making this error, i see it all over the media these days, but for some reason it really irritates me.
    you are a great writer, minor quibbles aside i get a lot from reading your blog posts and frequently pass them on to friends and family. thank you, and please don’t stop1

  2. thank you and good point. have changed it.

  3. I really look forward to getting the emails telling me you have posted again.

    This really is outrageous….these charities are cashing in on a vicious programme that will probably see them getting some new clients…..

    As usual I can’t really frame my thoughts into anything other than furious rant, so am simply going to thank you for your dedication to exposing the cynical scam that is workfare

  4. As Ian Duncan Smith propheses to be a devout Catholic does he ever read the Bible? (What is it with all these wierd politicos and their obssession that they are right cos they talk to God – George Bush, Tony Blair, now IDS. It’s funny, but for us mere mortals, if God talks back, you get put on medication.)

    Not talking to God myself yet, but I did pick up his wisdom on Workfare from the Bible: Book of Jeremiah, ch.22 v.13:

    “WOE UNTO HIM that buildeth his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour’s service WITHOUT WAGES and GIVETH HIM NOT FOR HIS WORK.”

  5. Cheers Johnny great piece calling people to account to practice what the claim to believe, whether that is based on faith, belief, moral, ethical or political grounds. I think I am pretty clear where I stand on ‘workfare’ nothing about it feels right for me. As a practising Christian it upsets me that so many individuals and organisations will either defend it or try justify there involvement. Sadly it doesn’t surprise me (in most areas where a ‘Christian’ group are prepared to shout about what God says I disagree). Thankfully my parents taught me that there is a big difference between ‘The Church’ and being a Christian. I also struggle with the involvement of charities, particularly charities who campaigned against welfare reform and sanctions. With many of them now accepting a cut, generally a small cut at the discretion of prime contractors. To be honest I have more respect for Argos when they said we don’t take people on through the Work Programme, but its really helpful at busy times like Christmas. At least that was up front and honest. And yes some corporates have taken big leaps showing up faith organisations and charities by completely leaving the schemes. All we can do is continue to strip away at workfare. Pretty sure that the ConDem(ed) thought by dropping sanctions for Work Experience we would all go away. Time to prove them wrong!

  6. Shelter pulled out last year. They’re not part of the Work Programme. You can read their statement here:

    http://england.shelter.org.uk/news/february_2012/shelter_statement_on_work_programme

  7. Homelessness charities making people homeless…and it doesn’t even surprise or shock me.

  8. Most charities nowadays are nothing more than troughing greedy bastards keen to get their noses in. it isn’t just the work programme but they’re licking their lips ay getting pieces of the NHS and we have charities like NACRO partnering with private prison firms to profit from banging people up, fucking disgusting. By the way did you know that the Shaw Trust one of the work programme deliverers who are a not for profit charity have partnered with ATOS. how about that for a conflict of interest the two faced fucking scum.

  9. Arbeitsscheu_UK

    The SLAVATION ARMY’s pathetic denials just about sum up what hypocrites these religious types really are (hardly any wonder the worthless politician scum are in league with them) as if they truly believed the crap they spout their own actions would be condemning them to eternal damnation wouldn’t it? Just look at those perverse depraved catholic priests and the bloody pope covering for them as that was considered in the best interest of the church, how sick is that?
    Personally I have no time whatsoever for religion – any religion. All they do is turn man against man, but these so called charities really take the biscuit with a raft of highly paid executives and expensive shop refits being their main priority for the money they con out of the public, I wouldn’t piss in their ears if their brains were on fire.

  10. Time for a name change for the Salvation Army to the Damnation Army.

  11. If politicians such as Duncan Smith were true Christians, they would be crusading against interest/usuary in stead of the welfare state or its remnants.The Bible explicitly prohibits interest and I do not see so-called Chrisitans on both sides of the Atlantic opposing this. They do have the time to criticize ‘welfare’

    • did the Pope not sell the right to lend money to the duke of Lombardy
      (3 balls for pawn shops?) making it a non sin?

  12. In my opinion the problem is not religion, it is a lack of it. Do you really believe that Duncan Smith, Tony Blair and George Bush are Christians? They are fake Christians, liars and will say anything to put themselves in a good light. Stricly speaking the UK is NOT a Christian country and we still see that she is relatively unsympathetic towards her unemployed, disabled, single mothers, youth and elderly.

  13. Good one, Johnny. I think you’ll appreciate this little rant from Max Keiser.

    All this fascism, corporatism and capitalism happens through: “we’re missionaries, we’re ‘helping’ you”… all of this is “helping” young people enter the workforce”… Actually this is the British method of imperialism. They’d send people to “help” the Indians. They’d send missionaries to “help” and missionise the Kenyans”.

  14. Work Programme is illegal.

  15. Great post mate, I have reposted it lots as as someone that works with one of the few homelessness organisations that are grassroots as opposed poverty pimps I’m so angry right about this right now I haven’t been able to write a blog without it ending up a string of expletives, so thanks for putting many peoples thoughts into words. In my work I have experience of these poverty pimps and they way the ‘work’ with vulnerable people and I never cease to be amazed at the contempt they treat the very people they claim to be there to help with, and yet it is always the smaller caring crews that suffer though these cuts and because we won’t see our service users as a commodity. Please excuse the shamless plug but if you are involved in homelessness services and would like to get involved in something truly grassroots please check out World Homeless Action Day http://worldhomelessactionday.org or our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/252124162444/ and remember ‘direct action gets the goods’
    #morethanwords

  16. The ‘Big Society’ that this embryonic Nazi ‘government’ is creating at breakneck speed makes me wish I was dead.

  17. Pingback: Holiday Inn Are Out of Workfare! | the void

  18. well said NALIK/JUNIS the emissaries knew that the only true religion ‘was to help widows and orphans’ with love YoNtM.

  19. Arbeitsscheu_UK

    I still cant get my old naive way of thinking, of what a charity is all about, out of my head. The way I have always thought of them is this: if I choose to put a £5 note in a charity collection tin it will be spent on the charities good cause. Not so, charities now are very much businesses with many paid employees and a raft of over paid executives and enormous assets.

    The way it should be, in my way of thinking, is that people who work for charities should be unpaid volunteers, as in they are doing it because they want to. But the reverse is true they are employees living off the charities income. That income comes from a variety of sources but nearly a half of it comes from contracts with central and local government, mostly providing health and social care services.
    Another big chunk of their income comes from investments, either in stocks and shares or from rental on property they own, as well as money invested in banks. But of course their has been a global financial crisis and many of the charities had funds invested in Icelandic banks, so the government (or the tax payer) bailed them out, to the tune of £40million last month, which the charities turned their noses up at as not being nearly enough.
    They also rely on private sector gifts and grants along with the tax break incentives available for both parties. Legacies from peoples wills helps, and another large source of funding comes from statutory sources, such as lottery grants. Oh and they sell a great deal of merchandise as well as conscripting slave labour courtesy of the tax payer once again.

    So if you are thinking of getting a sponsor sheet, donning a banana suit and taking part in the London marathon, or donating your unwanted clothes to one of their shops think again and examine the reasons you should be complaining about them to the charities commission instead.

  20. underground_overground

    Hi

    The Salvation Army have been very active in workfare in Oz. In London then sent a rep ( hello Ryan ) to another jobclub place ( the extremely crap Dutch firm Calder ).

    The response to the guy’s arrogant and insulting ( plenty of cod philosphy – including ‘I can get a job and have never claimed benefit’ ( but he apparently lives with his parents after a failing in work in Oz (another workfare crazy place) and is working on a state sponsored non job / PPP policing role ) pep talk was a near riot…

    True IMF/World bank policy of a mobile workforce with no rights ( particularly including land ) and privatised services as part of GATS/Structutral adjustment aka ‘Poverty alleviation’ program )

    To all daily mail readers:-I have been on work placement and had my benefits stopped whilst attending the work placement.

    This also happened in the early 1980s – even if it was not ‘official’ policy with Manpower Services and other charities supposedly providing ‘training’ to the unemployed including those sent by probation. It was benefits for labour with no elf and safety and no future employment prospects to come out of it. They may talk about youth but there is also the lost generation ( particularly of the North ) from this period.

    Funny enough fatboy Ken clarke was in the cabinet then beginning his axing of the NHS whilst trousering it from BAT!

  21. Work Programme Attendee

    You know what I believe…..Karma is b@tch and always comes back on the wrong doer. I’ve seen Karma come back and bite on so may people. Look at Thatcher, Karma is making her suffer, no get out quick for her. A slow demise.

  22. Ah The Salvation Army- ran by millionaires to exploit the poor! I work for them (or I least I do as in the process of being made redundant) but certainly not a millionaire-one step away from poverty myself. Ah the lies they tell in the name of God. NEVER DONATE TO THEM/NEVER GIVE IN UR CLOTHES -burn them or give them into the local cash for clothes and then give money to homeless charities. DO not give to this corrupt organisation- they believe that they are above the law!

  23. havebeenharassed@hotmail.com

    I am a “real” Christian who gebts sickened by the bad behaviour of fake Christians. Why? Because they harm real people whom Jesus loves and they also misrepresent Jesus.
    I am NOT surprised sadly by the stuff that goes on in charities – the bible mandates extra care around the vulnerable because “predetor” types pick on them and also because when somone vulnerable is mistreated, the harm done is even greater than to a non-vulnerable person, and the protection, succour and restitutional justice from the communityare less because of the wrong attitudes of the many towards their fellow human beings. They forget that there but for the grace of God go all of us (and that God does care and knows).
    Thankyou for caring. Matthew 25 is pretty clear that there are many fake followers of Jesus. Real Christians care for all people. Also, whether they show that care partly thru organised charities or not, they do not use grand schemes and charities to line their pockets, boost their egos falsely or patronise, control, insult, use rip off or control those they purport to be helping. That is narcisism NOT love or help – we all need and give and receive help every day in some way or another, whether we notice it or not. I wish the some of the current and last government would get some integrity including fairness and kindness and humility. Are they expoliting when they pay below a living wage for childcare if they can afford more – and do they pay for the transport and other expenses of those who care for their children? Do they pay God when they enjoy the beauty of the side? Do they pay their contacts when they network? When they pass unjust laws or create unfair rules do they get personally fined or sued by the public who are financially (as well as in more important ways) harmed by their ignorant, inept ie not fit for the job or criminal decisions? Do they really think that God doesnt care? Those in this and the previous government who profess to follow Jesus might read Proverbs 31 – a mandate of all in goveernment is to watch out for the vulnerable. If they read Psalm 73 they should really worry – because it and Psalm 37 say that if people do a lot of wrong and dont appear to be being disciplined by God in this life, they are going to get a very nasty surprise when they die ie straigt to hell, and they wont be able to go to heaven at that time by saying they said they loved Jesus, and the bible says there is no second chance for those in the no 1 and 2 positions in the DWP if they are relying on the non-existent purgatory. The false christians are also very harsh and hypocritical , they equate all suffering with punishment from God, they love the play God (perverted forms of “tough” love and playing wicked behavioural scientist dishing out cruel schemes to see how cruel policies will play out), they also crave spin artists because of their flowing robes syndromes (got to look good and have people worship them) and they lie to manipulate others even though the good book says that satan is the father of lies. When I am more “in the Spirit” I pray for their salvation. I pray much more for those whose lives are being wrecked, and my heart has been braking over what is being done by this government (as well as under New Labour, especially since I have suffered and know some of the fallout and because I live in a certain other country (though I am british) and have seen the fallout of less of a safety net/labour protection and charities and foodbanks etc. However, I am increasingly worried because the degree of arbitrariness, lack of legal recourse, lack of accountability including transparency, injustice etc being dumped on the British is worse than here which is , in my opinion, why poverty and inequality is increasing in Britain faster than over here according to one set of numbers I saw. The policies are ludicrous and unjust and I think that some of them are straight out of macchiavelli and the art of war.

    Thank you for caring – again, please dont think that “real” Christians arent concerned when injustice happens and people get hurt or worse, or that Jesus approves (the test is not wht the revd says but what the good book says – Jesus knew that people would expoit “Christianity” , His name and even the Bible for money, power, to vent their hatred etc etc.
    End of rant!

  24. havebeenharassed@hotmail.com

    Sorry the post was not grammatically correct etc.life, typos, software etc – though (for years) I have had “problems” on and off with my computer at the time – usually during periods when my attitudes are not p.c. (forgive the pun) and correlating highly with times of increased harassment in other ways
    Another reason that I gieve when certain policies are enacted in Britian which can harm peopor including when applied or misapplied to those who might be considered dissidents in other so-called “evil” countries or out of bullying, petty or organised. I have given up wondering why my cursor tends to start acting up when I am politically incorrect or visiting a politically incorrect website. It defies probability unless I assume that something else is going on the harass dissident types or to wear down us oiks.

  25. havebeenharassed

    Final comment because of all the cruel garbage spouted in the name of Christianity and in the press – St Paul was at times homeless, thirsty and without food (book of 2 corinthians). Need, just like all affliction, can happen to anyone and does NOT imply guilt (see book of Job – nor is there a promise that God will make a Ch,ristian rich). Need or lack of need is NEUTRAL – it is a circumstance and implies NOTHING according to my bible about how the person got there. And the bible commands us to help the afflicted.
    Secondly, to counter the garbage in the name of politics and Christianity.
    During the time of a theocracy (no need for that since Jesus’ ascension to heaven) during the time of the “mosaic law’ (the 10 commandments etc). the church was government and church and collected taxes, some of which were given to the poor, and the mosaic law forabde farmers ie businesses from being 100% efficient – they were forbidden from collecting all the produce and had to leave some so that the poor who were well enough to labour could eat some free of chage. There is no mention in this part of the old testament of any rules to separate the deserving from the undeserving.
    (St Paul did say that those who refuse to work should not be helped with food but the assumption is that this is the rare case of a habit of willful laziness, there are jobs available the person can get and do and which are accessible to the unemployed and som e one who is desparate and unemployed and in momenttary anguish is not the knd of person this is referring to etc etc). In addition, there was a group of Christians in Acts who
    gave to a common fund in accordance to their ability to pay and received in accordance with their need, and they were highly commended by God.
    And God says feed your enemy, and in James he says that saying God bless and not helping someone when you can is a sin
    Christians are not under the Old Testament agrrements with God – under the New Covenant, suffering is pormised to Chrstians to help us become more compassionate. So, if anyone reads this, there are the above and a million other reasons why a lot of whatis said in the name of politics/christianity is not in line with what god has said in the bible and I am deeply sorry if you have been hurt or harmed by the words and deeds. Dont ask me about abuse in the “name” of Jesus – human authority is permission to make decisions about some others in some areas of their lives – power does not make anyone better, and abuse of power is a big sin.

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