The typical image of a homeless person is an old man sleeping on the streets. But homelessness is not just about rough sleepers. For every known rough sleeper, there are around 100 people in hostels. Many of these people face a number of problems like family breakdown, poor mental health, and unemployment.
Lost property, NPC’s report on homelessness, argues that the problem is about much more than not having a roof overhead. It highlights charities working to prevent people becoming homeless, as well those helping people to rebuild their lives and find a route out of homelessness.
Did you know?
- More than a third of homeless people say they spend their days alone.
- A third of all prisoners leave jail with nowhere to go.
- Between 30% and 50% of rough sleepers have mental health problems.
Private donors can make a difference by supporting charities that are:
- reducing youth homelessness by sending formerly homeless young people into schools to talk about the realities of not having a home.
- helping homeless people find jobs, or get into education or training.
- supporting groups that have a high risk of becoming homeless, like offenders leaving prison.
I soon realised the vital role that social and leisure programmes play—improving homeless people’s self-esteem, social skills, and just getting them involved. Without covering these basics, some people will never move on and really benefit from projects addressing more concrete topics, like jobs and housing.