Let’s seize this opportunity and ensure there is a Home for All
For so many of us, these past few months have meant spending more time at home than we ever have before. During this time, we’ve developed a better understanding of the value of having somewhere safe to be, a place to batten down the hatches and wait it out until the virus subsides – but for too many people this is simply not the case.
Coronavirus has thrown into sharp relief that thousands of people across the country do not have the dignity of somewhere safe to call home - that too many people are forced to live in crowded night shelters or face night-after-night on our streets. What the pandemic has also shown is that when the political will is there, we can make remarkable progress in tackling homelessness.
Across Great Britain we have seen homelessness charities, national and local government and the public work together to achieve the extraordinary – like finding emergency accommodation for over 15,000 people experiencing homelessness in a matter of weeks. Without question this saved many lives.
At Crisis, we have adapted our services to continue to support people throughout the outbreak with both immediate needs like food supplies and mobile phones and longer-term help – with things like mental health, access to benefits and other support so they can rebuild their lives.
We also saw governments take action to prevent people from losing their homes by stopping evictions and increasing housing benefit so that people could afford to pay their rent should they fall on hard times during the pandemic.
But we now find ourselves at a crossroads.
With lockdown starting to ease, and life returning to some semblance of normality, the emergency measures are coming to an end. In just a few weeks, unless further action is taken, we’re at risk of seeing thousands of people returning to the streets, while others may be forced into homelessness for the first time, as the economic impact of coronavirus puts huge pressure on people already pushed to the brink by high rents and low wages.
That’s why Crisis is launching Home for All, a campaign to enable everyone across Great Britain to have the security of a safe and settled home. These last few weeks have shown that when we work together we can achieve extraordinary change, but unless we take further action and enact long term solutions - such as ensuring that everyone currently in hotels continues to have somewhere safe to stay for at least 12 months – the progress we’ve made risks being undone.
We’ve continued to support people facing homelessness throughout lockdown, and we’ll continue to provide services that help people to leave homelessness behind for good. We’re supporting people in hotels and other forms of temporary accommodation to find a safe, stable and permanent home. We’re also working side-by-side with people who need it to address interlocking problems such as mental health, drug and alcohol dependency and trauma. With somewhere to live and unconditional support, people have a much stronger chance of rebuilding their life away from homelessness.
But we can’t do it alone – we need everyone to play their part if we are to see homelessness ended for good. There are several ways you can get involved:
Write to your MP
Join us in calling on politicians to ensure that once emergency measures are eased, people do not lose their homes and everyone with nowhere safe to stay has access to emergency accommodation and is supported regardless of their immigration status.
We are determined to be there for those who are most exposed at this time - which is why we’re asking for your help to make sure we can keep our services running but also fund other homelessness charities to support people from emergency accommodation into permanent homes through our grants fund.
Spread the word
We need to spread the word that now is our opportunity to end homelessness. By sharing your support, you’re helping us demonstrate that now is the time to create the society we want to live in - a society where homelessness has no place.
Every tweet, conversation, letter or donation, no matter the size, will help us make sure there is a secure, permanent home for all.
The end of homelessness is within reach, now let’s work together to make it happen.
For media enquiries:
T: 020 7426 3880
For general enquiries:
T: 0300 636 1967