Dedicating a year of support to Crisis - thanks to your votes
Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people and we are proud that DTA members voted to support it during 2017.
Crisis is dedicated to ending homelessness by delivering life-changing services and campaigning for change.
The charity explains that homelessness is about more than rooflessness. A home is not just a physical space, it also has a legal and social dimension. A home provides roots, identity, a sense of belonging and a place of emotional wellbeing. Homelessness is about the loss of all of those things. It is an isolating and destructive experience and homeless people are some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded in our society.
Crisis aims to:
- do more for more homeless people in more places across the UK and help to change their lives for good.
- change the way society thinks and acts towards homeless people.
After years of declining trends, 2010 marked the turning point when all forms of homelessness began to rise. However, it is likely that homelessness will increase yet further, as the delayed effects of the economic downturn, cuts to housing benefit and other reforms all start to bite.
Much more than putting a roof over people's heads
People become and stay homeless for a whole range of complex and overlapping reasons and solving homelessness is about much more than putting a roof over people's heads. The isolation and destructive nature of homelessness means that homeless people find it difficult to access the help they need.
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.
Crisis's work is split into key areas such as employment, education, housing and Crisis Skylight Centres – its award winning and accredited education, training and employment centres.
Lack of work is a major cause and consequence of homelessness. Crisis' employment coaches help people find their own route towards a new job or career. Eighty per cent of homeless people say they want to get back into work. Crisis helps people start that journey, from confidence building and CV workshops, to mock interviews and help buying smart work clothes.
It also offers Changing Lives Grants, which open doors for clients, helping them to pay for courses or equipment to get started in the world of work.
Lack of skills and qualifications can lead people to become and stay homeless, isolated from society, work and independence. Education is at the heart of Crisis – supporting people to build knowledge and skills, grow in confidence and feel more positive about the future.
From literacy and numeracy, to millinery and music, Crisis' classes break the cycle of homelessness. They provide routine and purpose and equip people with skills for work and life.
The Crisis housing service breaks down the barriers homeless people face when finding a rented home. Renting Ready training helps prospective tenants learn about budgeting and bills, finding flatmates or DIY. Crisis also works with landlords to ensure a supply of places to live – both directly and through projects supported across the UK.
Health and wellbeing
Six out of ten homeless people suffer from loneliness. Coming to Crisis' classes can be chance to re-connect socially. Its health and wellbeing coaches help people identify specific challenges and rebuild the self-esteem shattered by homelessness. This includes offering one-to-one support, helping people access GPs, get new glasses or specialist help with addiction or other complex health issues.
Christmas can be an incredibly difficult time of year for a person cut off from family and home. Every Christmas Crisis provides companionship and support to tackle loneliness and isolation, and help people take their first steps out of homelessness.
Policy and research
With more than 40 years of work, Crisis has built up a huge body of expertise and experience directly influencing policy and practice in a number of areas. The charity also delivers and commissions research to better understand the causes and nature of homelessness.
You can support Crisis by volunteering your time, raising funds by joining an event or organising your own event or donating money – all help enormously. For more information visit www.crisis.org.uk