£200,000 boost to homelessness charities
Londoners have donated almost £200,000 to help rough sleepers off the street – double the original target. These funds have gone to the London Homeless Charities Group, a coalition of 18 charities supported by the Mayor. So that Londoners can understand the huge positive impact of their generosity, here are a few examples of how the money is being spent:
The Albert Kennedy Trust, which works with young LGBT+ people who are homeless or living in a hostile environment, has been able to boost its Emergency Assistance Package offering emergency accommodation, travel cards, top-up credit for mobile phones and a food allowance to vulnerable young individuals.
The Big Issue Foundation runs a small team of frontline workers – Service Brokers – who have formed strong relationships of trust with even the hardest to reach vendors, identifying their health, housing, employment and other support needs. The funds will contribute to their work over the next year.
Centrepoint will use the funds to support counselling sessions and health living skills for the young people that they work with, many of whom suffer from severe mental health problems.
Homeless Link, in partnership with St Mungo’s, runs StreetLink, which responds to referrals from the public about rough sleepers by sending outreach workers to link them into services. When the ‘Beast from the East’ hit hard earlier this year, the cash injection meant the service could respond to the increased volume of referrals. During the campaign, Londoners made 8,516 referrals – the highest level on record, up almost 45 per cent from 5,892 referrals over the equivalent period last year.
LandAid will put the money towards the rebuilding of City YMCA’s Errol Street Hostel. The new hostel will have 146 beds and provide safe, secure and affordable accommodation for homeless young Londoners.
St Mungo’s will spend the funds on its Recovery College, created by homeless people and the first of its kind in the homelessness sector. Courses and activities are co-designed by students and staff and are designed to boost essential skills for living independently and moving into work.
The London Homeless Charities Group comprises:
Albert Kennedy Trust, Big Issue Foundation, Centrepoint, Depaul UK, Homeless Link, New Horizon, Providence Row Charity, Connection at St Martin’s , Housing Justice, LandAid, Shelter, St Mungo’s, The Passage, West London Mission, YMCA UK, Crisis, Thames Reach, Salvation Army.
You can still donate to the London Homeless Charities Group, who help London’s rough sleepers all year round. Also, if you see someone sleeping rough who you are concerned about, you can help make sure they get support by letting StreetLink know through their website or app.