12 Dec Charities Helping tackle Homelessness at Christmas and Beyond
Christmas, for the vast majority of us is a time of happiness. Spending time with our loved ones, exchanging gifts and over-indulging on turkey. But, the festive period can be the toughest time of the year for the homeless.
Christmas not only enhances the isolation that many of the UK’s homeless feel but the freezing cold temperatures can be life-threatening. Hundreds of thousands of men and women will spend Christmas on the UK streets which has prompted a huge rise in charities determined to tackle this epidemic head on.
But, the incredible volunteers at these charities can only do as much as their resources will allow. The onus is then on us all to do our bit to help this year. Christmas is supposed to be a time of giving, so give your time to raise awareness of these wonderful charities. If we all make just a small donation in the lead up to Christmas, we can literally save lives.
Here are just a few of the fantastic organisations that will sacrifice their own time to helping the UK’s homeless this Christmas.
Shelter.org.uk – Shelter was set up to offer advice, support and legal services to the homeless and those struggling with bad housing. The charity helps millions of people every year but 21% of all donations is currently needed to continue fundraising. The more we can help spread the word about what this wonderful organisation do, the more Shelter will be able to spend on directly helping those in need.
Centrepoint.org.uk – Centrepoint is the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity with 350 staff currently helping youngsters across London, Manchester, Yorkshire and the North East. In addition to the front-line workers based in their hostels, Centrepoint also have counsellors and health supports, brought in to help boost self-esteem and get these youngsters off the streets and into employment.
HRH The Duke of Cambridge has been Centrepoint’s patron since 2005. A title previously held by his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Emmaus.org.uk – Emmaus was initially founded in post-World War Two France to help with the epidemic but a chance meeting at a Cambridge soup kitchen saw the charity move to the UK in 1991.
The Emmaus vision is to create “a world in which everyone has a home and a sense of belonging.”
Their unique approach doesn’t just give somebody a bed for the night but the opportunity to both live and work within one of their social enterprises. There are now 29 enterprises, homing 750 Emmaus companions across the UK.
Crisis.org.uk – Crisis help to get people off the streets, for good through education, training and support with housing, employment and health.
As well as finding and building relationships with prospective landlords, Crisis work with the homeless to adopt the tools and knowledge they need to rent successfully.