The response to StreetLink’s appeal shows people truly care about rough sleeping
With the cost of living crisis starting to take hold, Director of StreetLink Fiona Colley writes about why she’s thankful for the commitment of StreetLink’s supporters.
On 16th February, as Storms Dudley and Eunice were brewing, we at StreetLink sent out an emergency appeal.
No one should have to sleep rough in any conditions, but sleeping on the streets during periods of extreme weather can put people at risk of severe health issues which can, at times, be fatal.
That’s why we asked people to spare what they could to help the StreetLink team provide fast, accurate alerts to local services about people sleeping rough. I think it’s fair to say that we were astonished by the response. Through the appeal we raised a massive £15,278.
I want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to those who donated as well as those who use StreetLink and encourage others to do the same. The response to the appeal, and the continual rise in the number of people who use StreetLink, affirms my belief that members of the public really care about ending rough sleeping and are willing to take decisive action to achieve this goal.
This commitment will be even more important in the coming months as the cost of living crisis starts to take hold. The economic fall out of the pandemic, coupled with the impact of the conflict in Ukraine, led the Bank of England to recently warn that household disposable incomes are likely to shrink by 2% this year, the biggest fall since records began in 1990. Meanwhile, analysis from the property website Zoopla has found that renters in the UK are paying £62 a month more than before the pandemic. It’s no wonder analysis by the Resolution Foundation has warned that the poorest households in the UK could see their cost-of-living jump by as high as 10% by Autumn.
When cost of living increases, homelessness inevitably does too. Indeed, the recent Homelessness Monitor published by Crisis and Heriot-Watt University predicted that the number of people experiencing homelessness could increase by a third by 2024 due to a ‘tidal wave’ of need.
Research has found that the longer people sleep rough, the less their likelihood of finding long-term stable housing. That’s why, in the coming months, it’s so important that anyone who has found their finances squeezed to the extent that they have nowhere to sleep is connected to local services quickly to help them get back on their feet.
When we conducted a survey late last year, three out of five people said they would be more likely to help someone sleeping rough if they knew the best way to connect them to long-term support. The issue is only one in five people have heard of StreetLink, so we will be working hard to raise awareness of the service in the coming months.
A tough road lies ahead, but the passion and commitment of StreetLink’s supporters gives me confidence that we can achieve our dream of no one having to sleep rough.
Latest News from
New member: Impact Initiatives30/01/2023 14:10:00
We're delighted to welcome Impact Initiatives as a new member of Homeless Link!
Third episode of new series of Going Beyond podcast with Ben Neal30/01/2023 13:10:00
This is the first episode of the second series of Going Beyond, a podcast for people working in the homelessness sector.
New episode of going Beyond podcast with Andy Phee23/01/2023 15:25:00
In the second episode of Season 2, we speak with Andy Phee, mindfulness practitioner and teacher at Oxford University’s Mindfulness Centre. Andy also works at EASL (Enabling Assessments Service London), a community interest company and mental health team who work collaboratively with homelessness services across London in providing assessments for homeless individuals experiencing poor mental health and in helping staff teams to develop psychologically informed environments.
Energy bill discount scheme: More uncertainty and less support leaves the sector vulnerable23/01/2023 14:25:00
Since October last year, the Government has provided relief on rapidly rising energy costs for businesses including charities through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS). This support has been vital, but earlier this month the Treasury chose to ignore our calls for further assistanceand announced it will be significantly reducing the level of support from April onwards, in a move that marks yet more uncertainty for the homelessness sector.
Homeless Link signs joint letter calling for greater energy support for charities23/01/2023 11:15:00
Homeless Link has signed a letter together with NCVO, Hospice UK, Age UK and Women's Aid Federation England, calling on the Government to introduce increased support for charities struggling to pay inflated energy bill.
Advocating to protect local homelessness budgets19/01/2023 13:10:00
Across the country, local authorities are working to finalise their budgets for 2023/24. While many will have already published their draft budgets, these are not set in stone. January and February of each year represent an intense period of negotiation, with different sections of local government all putting their case forward to avoid cuts to their funding.
Accredited qualification applications now open19/01/2023 12:10:00
Applications are now open for the new Level 3 Certificate in Providing Homelessness Services qualification.
Leading homelessness organisations warn of devastating impact of not extending energy support16/12/2022 15:20:00
On 15th December 2022, 34 of the country's leading homelessness organisations wrote to to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Grant Shapps, warning of the “devastating” impact of not extending the Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) beyond March 2023.