Everyone wants to help people who are homeless but sometimes finding out how to help most effectively can be a daunting task. Before we give you our three ways to help, let’s take a look at the numbers and some definitions.
Homelessness: Shelter.org.uk defines homelessness as; ” Sleeping rough, not having rights to stay where you live or are living in unsuitable housing, such as a B&B, with friends or a hostel.”
Rough Sleeping: Shelter.org.uk defines rough sleeping as: “people sleeping or bedded down in the street, doorways, parks or bus shelters.”
Now for the stats, The North West of England saw the most significant percentage increase in rough sleeping since 2016. There was a 74% increase in rough sleepers. Combine that with those who are homeless, living in hostels etc., the number of people without a home is huge.
How can you help people who are homeless?
1) Contact your local council
Local councils are aware of their responsibility to help those who are homeless. You can alert your local authority of someone who is rough sleeping or homeless by calling the number on their website. This will mean their outreach teams can visit the person and signpost them to the right support available.
During the day, referrals into this accommodation can be made via:
The Council Rough Sleeper team – 0161 234 5339 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For over 25s: Booth Centre: http://boothcentre.org.uk
For under 25s: Centrepoint North: https://centrepoint.org.uk
When daytime services are closed you can refer through:
The Council Rough Sleeper – 0161 234 5001
2) Support a local charity
A quick and easy way to make a huge impact and help people who are homeless is by supporting a local charity. By donating time, money or fundraising, you can support the work of a charity which works directly with those who are homeless. Charities perform a vital job of engaging and helping those on the streets to get the support they need.
3) Spread the message
Get behind a local cause or organisation that is helping and shout about them. If your local council is doing a good job, shout about it on Twitter and Facebook. The more we talk about helping the homeless, the more we break down barriers. You can make a huge impact just by posting a tweet, publicly backing a charity.
When you decide on what help you want to give, ensure you choose a charity that works in conjunction with the local authority and other charities. Good charities understand the importance of working together to combat rough sleeping and homelessness, because only when we work together can we truly help each other.