Caught up in the bustle of the festive season, and so focused on ourselves and our loved ones, we often forget those who are less fortunate and in desperate need of our help. Which is why Michael Sheen’s petition for the homeless youth in Wales serves as a poignant reminder that many people will be without a home this Christmas.
Sheen has launched a petition calling on the Welsh government to help the country’s homeless teens and put an end to their “unsuitable” accommodation in bed and breakfasts.
I'm petitioning Welsh Government to help homeless teenagers in Wales. Please join me. https://t.co/hKUL3itLze
— michael sheen (@michaelsheen) December 21, 2015
The petition was launched on Change.org and calls for the government to put an end to homelessness. Sheen writes, “Scared, frightened, abandoned and hungry is how many describe the experience. In the worst cases young people have reported sexual assault, after being put into rooms with no locks in a house full of strangers.
“That’s why I’ve started this petition calling on the Welsh Government to put an end to homeless teenagers being put into bed and breakfast accommodation, no exceptions.”
The alternative Sheen proposes places the teenagers in safe places that can be provided by the “fantastic network of charities across Wales,” where the staff are fully trained to deal with these situations.
Citing research from the But End Youth Homelessness Cymru charity, Sheen explained that they have discovered “local authorities place around a hundred 16 and 17 year olds into unsuitable bed and breakfast accommodation every year and this number is rising.”
He concludes the petition, which has already received almost 40,000 signatures, that this Christmas he is not asking for anything unreasonable, only a place where the vulnerable youth of Wales are able to have their basic rights taken care of, such as a “place of safety, a shower, a hot meal and someone to talk to.”
According to the Irish Independent, after 10,000 signatures, a petitioner is entitled to a response from the national government — so Sheen’s petition is well over that line.
The actor later took to Twitter to thank all those who have helped and signed the petition thus far.
Fantastic to see so many people and organisations coming together to push for change. Almost at 30,000 signatures!https://t.co/hKUL3iLmXO
— michael sheen (@michaelsheen) December 22, 2015
If you agree with Sheen’s plea head over to the petition and put your signature down.