Over 400 of our Funtington staff will focus on homelessness this Friday (June 1st), when we host representatives of local charity Stonepillow and launch an important fund-raising campaign to support its work.
We’ll be learning all about Stonepillow’s mission: to offer shelter, information and support to empower homeless and vulnerable people in West Sussex to make positive changes in their lives. And we’ll set out to raise funds for the charity, via everything from “Friday fund-raisers” and collections of unwanted household goods, to Stonepillow’s annual Big Sleep Out.
Our Head of Marketing Gaynor Maunder says, “Stonepillow is a fantastic charity that really does provide a lifeline for the homeless. We are delighted to be supporting it as part of our company charity day.”
A representative of Stonepillow explains, “Providing shelter is a start, but our clients need long term support to help them leave the streets for good. Stonepillow provides a complete recovery journey, focusing on the key areas of health, housing and work, and helping people find independent accommodation they can call home.
“We have supported hundreds of clients to regain their independence, many of whom would still be sleeping rough on the streets without our help.”
Homelessness is devastating, dangerous and isolating.
On average, homeless people die at just 47-years-old.
People sleeping on the street are almost 17 times more likely to have been victims of violence. More than 1 in 3 people sleeping rough have been deliberately hit or kicked, or experienced some other form of violence whilst homeless.
Homeless people are over 9 times more likely to take their own life than the general population.
What causes homelessness?
People become homeless for lots of different reasons. There are social causes of homelessness, such as a lack of affordable housing, poverty and unemployment; and life events which cause individuals to become homeless.
People can become homeless when they leave prison, care or the army with no home to go to.
Many homeless women have escaped a violent relationship.
Many people become homeless because they can no longer afford the rent.
And for many, life events like a relationship breaking down, losing a job, mental or physical health problems, or substance misuse can be the trigger. Being homeless can in turn make many of these problems even harder to resolve.
How many people are homeless?
There is no national figure for how many people are homeless across the UK. This is because homelessness is recorded differently in each nation, and because many homeless people do not show up in official statistics at all.
Government street counts and estimates give a snapshot of the national situation. The latest figures showed that 4,751 people slept rough across England on any given night in 2017 - a 15% increase compared to the previous year, and more than double the amount in 2010.
Last year 57,890 households were accepted as homeless in England. In Scotland, 34,100 applications were assessed as homeless and in Wales 9,210 households were threatened with homelessness.