Helping the Homeless
Homelessness: the Growing Crisis on our Doorstep, and How You Can Help
Why are there so many homeless people here in the UK?
You might answer that there have been homeless people in every country in the world, for the entire history of humanity. But why are there so many homeless people here in the UK?
We’re one of the most affluent countries in the world, and yet homelessness in the UK has risen rapidly for the eighth year in a row[i]. Child homelessness is at its highest level in almost 10 years[ii]. The number of homeless people over the age of 60 has increased by 40% in the last year[iii]. Youth homelessness is estimated to affect over 86,000 young people[iv]. The scale of homelessness in the UK is staggering; as the sixth largest economy in the world, how have we got to this point?
The answer is, as always, due to a complex combination of reasons; years of austerity, lack of affordable housing, a rise of zero-hour contracts with less job security, untreated mental illness and rising levels of addiction are all coming together to make it harder for people to have a stable home to call their own.
We work helping homeless people around the country – at this time of the year, we’re giving hot food and Winter Kits with essentials for the cold weather such as blankets, warm clothes and hygiene essentials.
You can join Penny Appeal’s Team Orange and make a real difference to homeless people in your local area – we’re looking for volunteers this winter, use the button below to sign up and help the homeless!
#Donate a gift
You can help someone practically, and let them know they haven’t been forgotten, by buying a gift for a homeless person this winter. Simply go out and buy a gift from our ‘useful gift list’, like a pair of new boots or a toothbrush and drop it off at one of our drop-off locations
#Donate money to the homeless
If you can’t give your time or a gift – we get it. Everyone gets busy, especially at this time of year. You can still make a big difference and help homeless children, families and individuals by donating to Penny Appeal. Just £50 provides a life-saving winter kit for a homeless person.
#Do notice homeless people
One of the simplest things you can do to help is just to take the time to speak to homeless people; depression rates are over 10 times higher for the homeless than for the general population, and loneliness and social isolation is a big part of the problem. Talk to homeless people, get them a coffee and have a chat; homeless people are just people, and just having someone notice and listen to them can make a big difference.
The scale of homelessness in the UK can feel overwhelming; walk through any city centre or train station in the country, and you’ll see countless people sleeping rough – not to mention the thousands of hidden homeless, sofa surfing or sleeping on public transport to stay warm.
But together, we can make a difference to thousands of people around the country; we just need to act now, and do everything we can to help.
SATURDAY 1 DEC 2018