A roof over your head is a fundamental human right; Yet homelessness is part of a bigger picture negatively impacting on society. Working at grass roots level we support a very vulnerable section of the population; those who often have nowhere to go and who without our support would become street sleepers. Covid-19 saw much of essential support going 'virtual' and it has stayed that way. We deliver face to face support, in real time, to real people who want to live in their communities.
We are currently supporting veterans from the age of 19 to 93. For each age group the homelessness problem presents in different ways. Becoming homeless can be a result of drink, drugs, violence, mental health, loss of work, loss of relationships and quite simply running out of options. There are very few charities who have an active physical presence at street level like FirstLight. This is vital for providing easy access to those who are frequently considered beyond available resources.
By identifying the reason someone is homeless and working with the individual at grassroots, we can help prevent homelessness. When we set up a hub, we often deal with the more extreme forms of deprivation such as rough sleeping, suicide, extreme alcoholism, drug use and broken people/families. We go from reactive to proactive solutions, and most of the work we do is preventative. It's about needs not neediness and enabling those who come to us for help to live their lives the best way they can.
This project will increase the long-term impact of preventing cases of homelessness. The ripple effects of our support are vast as security is being created for a percentage of the population who traditionally bounce from service to service and can be disruptive. It cuts costs to emergency services, social services and support services preventing the spiral into anti-social behaviour that impacts the people around them be they supporters, carers or other family members and the general public.