A roof over our head, warmth and food are basic needs; or perhaps that order should change and it should be food, warmth and then a roof over our head. Homelessness however, is never about the lack of a roof - that can be the symptom but it is not the cause.
What leads to homelessness often starts with a downward spiral from deep rooted causes, and can present in so many different ways.
Sofa surfing, staying with friends, sleeping in a car can all happen whilst trying to hold down a job. And it can hit so fast; the breakdown of relationships, leaving home, the cost of living spiralling out of control, losing your job, trying to keep all the plates spinning whilst forgetting to ask for help, and simply leaving everthing until it is too late..... and then the baliffs come knocking or your relationship crashes and one of you has to leave.
And whilst we are often proactive at preventing people becoming homeless, sometimes that individual stands outside our door ashamed, alone and terrified of asking for support. The great news is that with your support and the funds we receive you help us do so much to prevent this escalation. (And we always always offer support to those who come to our doors).
In these situations age is irrelevant; we have had those in their 30's who have never been out of work before, finding themselves out of a job because of Covid and with little to fall back on bar a strong work ethic. They require a different type of support to find appropriate housing - some 'out of the box thinking' as the charitable sector is not used to finding those who are well educated, young, articulate and those who have had successful previous careers, homeless.
We have had others who have come to us, who are working, but with the break down of personal relationships have found themselves out on the street; they have run out of friends who will give them a sofa to bed down on, they might have children, but the divorce is not settled so there is little in the way of legal entitlement until that process begins. We assist them in finding accommodation too.
And with a recession looming; household bills increasing; relationships folding under the accumulated pressure of the lockdown, social isolation, work patterns changing with different skill sets required, we are expecting many many more of these requests for assistance.
Please help us prevent more cases of homelessness; we are effective, we care and most importantly we 'do'. £35 provides one nights accommodation with a shower and meal in a bed and breakfast. Please support and work with us to ensure that no veteran or their family will go homeless this winter.