2021 has continued to be difficult for lots of us as we slowly emerge from the pandemic. More than ever, we’ve been reminded how much we depend on each other for connection, hope and support, and of the importance of a safe, secure home. Sadly, this Christmas thousands of people will be alone with nowhere to call home – and many will be experiencing their first without a secure and safe home this Christmas.
At Christmas and throughout the year, Crisis helps people directly out of homelessness and campaigns for the social changes needed to solve it altogether. Each Christmas we mobilise a unique volunteering effort to provide warmth, companionship and vital services to people facing homelessness.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of our Crisis Christmas centres. Back in 1971, Crisis volunteers hosted our very first ‘Open Christmas’ with shelter and food for people experiencing homelessness. Fast forward to 2021, and volunteers are still as integral as ever to our work during Christmas.
Henry was working in a warehouse when Covid hit and his contract was terminated. He could no longer pay his rent and, without any support from his council, found himself forced into homelessness – on the streets and sleeping on buses.
Henry was referred to one of the hotels run by Crisis over Christmas last year. He had his own, warm room, three meals day and a Crisis coach who worked with him to deal with his depression and helped him to find somewhere to live when he left the hotel. Now, Henry is working as a carer. He says: “I have now managed to find work as a carer. Although it’s only three days a week it’s enough for me to pay for food while I am waiting for the council to find me somewhere to live.”
Your support helps us to help people just like Henry. Thank you.