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Crisis and the Marylebone Project partner to support women sleeping rough this Christmas and beyond

In a new partnership, Crisis and the Marylebone Project will provide women who would otherwise be sleeping rough with longer-term support to help them rebuild their lives away from homelessness in London this Christmas.

Crisis, the national charity for people experiencing homelessness, and the Marylebone Project, the largest and longest running women’s-only centre of its kind in the UK will work together from December 4th over the winter period to provide 20 beds to women who would otherwise be sleeping rough.

Women will be offered support and advice through the Marylebone Project’s specialist women-only accommodation, alongside key support workers from Crisis, for up to three months. This comes following feedback from previous guests and volunteers at Crisis, as well as consultation within the homelessness sector, on the best way to help women rebuild their lives after sleeping rough.

At the Marylebone Project, their urgent needs will be covered, being provided with food and cooking supplies, a private room with their own front door, clothing, showers and laundry facilities, alongside access to tailored services including counselling, immigration support and drug and alcohol services all under one roof. They will also be able to access the Marylebone Project’s ‘Meaningful activity programme’ including a range of therapeutic, educational, creative, and vocational services. Women who have accessed this programme have gone on to find work in the luxury hospitality sector, have started their own businesses, have become registered nurses, and many are now using the strength and knowledge they have found from overcoming homelessness to support others in need.

Crisis says the changes to their women-only provision is a “significant development” that should have a “meaningful impact on ending rough sleeping for women in London.” Over the last three months, the Marylebone Project has received 129 new visitors to the 24/7, 365 drop in The Sanctuary, with nearly 40% of those women facing homelessness due to domestic abuse.

Women are more likely to experience less visible forms of homelessness, such as temporary or emergency accommodation – with over 65,000 women living in temporary accommodation in England alone. Additionally, women are often hidden from outreach and other support services and misrepresented in homelessness statistics with women “almost certainly being undercounted.“ 1

Juliet Mountford, Director of Client Services at Crisis, said “This Christmas, although we will continue to support women in our day centres, hotels and year-round services, we’re pleased to be partnering with the Marylebone Project to also offer women access to specialist services and longer-term support. Through working together to offer intensive, individual support in a women-only environment, we hope we can support women rough sleeping in London to rebuild their lives beyond homelessness.”

Amy Hull, Executive Manager, Marylebone Project, said “Women experiencing homelessness face unique and complex issues and for over 90 years we’ve been addressing these needs at our project. We’ve seen women rebuild their lives, with 95% of women resettled through our move on programme maintaining their tenancy for at least a year, and we are pleased to partner with Crisis to provide even more women with life-changing support and care this winter.”

Notes to Editor

Crisis has secured 20 bed spaces in the Marylebone Project’s specialist women’s only service for up to three months this winter, where Crisis will provide individual, one-to-one support on site, and clients can access the Marylebone Project’s full range of activities and services.

About women’s homelessness

For women sleeping rough, many are forced to keep hidden from view due to the higher risk of sexual violence, trauma and abuse, and sleep out of sight in places such as sheds and empty garages in order to stay safe. According to UK Government data, only 17% of people rough sleeping in the capital this year were women - a disproportionately small amount of people on the streets.


1. Women and rough sleeping: a critical review of current research and methodology, St Mungos