The Diocese of London Homelessness Appeal

The Diocese of London Homelessness Appeal

18 December 2017 by Andy Burns in Homelessness, Housing.

Tackling Homelessness Together

Since the mid-2000’s, homelessness in London has doubled. In the 2014/15 Trust for London Report, 7,580 people were recorded as rough sleeping in London.

Rough sleeping is a dangerous and isolating experience. National charity Crisis reports that people sleeping rough are more likely to be victims of crime and almost 17 times more likely to have been victims of violence (in the past year compared to the general public). Women are particularly vulnerable, nearly one in four have been sexually assaulted whilst rough sleeping. Additionally, many people who rough sleep develop issues with drugs and alcohol.

With around one fifth of parishes within the Diocese of London actively helping the homeless, this is an issue that is very close to hearts and minds. For this reason we have launched the Diocese of London Homelessness Appeal so parishes can join together in an immediate response to help alleviate the suffering of those living in urgent and desperate need.

The challenge we face is diocese-wide but it is also a local issue. We have chosen to partner with 15 charities from across the Diocese. All work at a local level to offer an immediate response to help those experiencing homelessness in this most practical of ways.

Although many of these organisations will offer additional services to guests such as advocacy, advice and practical support, it is the safety and security of the night shelter along with the love of Christ, support and acceptance provided by an army of volunteers that is so often the catalyst to help those experiencing homelessness to move on and reintegrate into society. It is also telling that some of those who have experienced homelessness and benefitted from the support given at a night shelter, return and volunteer to give ‘something back’ as a way of expressing their thanks for the help they received.

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Andy Burns

Andy Burns

Andy Burns is Executive Director of Capital Mass.

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