Spotlight on small homelessness charities
We often hear about the superb work of major national homelessness charities such as Shelter, Crisis, Centrepoint and The Salvation Army, however there are also many wonderful smaller charities offering support of equal importance.
We’ve put five of these charities in the spotlight to highlight the great work that they do, and to showcase the vast number of homelessness charities that exist within the UK.
Based in Manchester, The Booth Centre is a community centre run with people affected by homelessness. Having celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2020, the Centre continues to push forward in its mission to bring about positive change in the lives of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and help them plan for and realise a better future.
The Booth Centre is more than just a hub for the local homeless community though, it offers the opportunity to belong, to gain a purpose and rebuild lives. Providing activities such as volunteering, creative projects and sports, as well as training and help to gain employment, the Centre has allowed people to exit homelessness forever.
A haircut for the majority of us is a routine appointment to keep on top of our locks, but a haircut for a homeless individual can be so much more than that. Set up by veteran hairdresser Stewart Roberts, Haircuts4Homeless has gone about building up a whole community of skilled hairdresser volunteers who give their time free of charge to give haircuts for homeless people.
With more immediate concerns such as food and shelter, having a haircut falls way down on the priority list for homeless individuals. By offering those in need a free haircut it can do wonders for their self-esteem and the chance for them to have conversations with friendly members of staff.
Founded in 1979, Reading-based homelessness charity Launchpad is the town’s leading homelessness prevention charity offering three key services – preventing homelessness, providing homes, and rebuilding lives. Originally set up as a soup kitchen by students at the University of Reading, the charity now provides a drop-in service, floating support, legal advice, severe weather emergency provision, temporary and long-term housing, wellbeing programmes, financial skills, and education, training & employment amongst other services.
During 2020, the charity helped over 1,000 people in Reading to get back on their feet, a figure which more than tripled in just five years.
The Ashley Foundation has been supporting homeless people in need since 1997, and operates a number of supported accommodation schemes across the North of England, with specific services in Blackpool, Blackburn and Sunderland. With a vision to relieve the poverty faced by homeless, vulnerable persons in need, the charity offers accommodation, support and education to all its clients, to empower them to develop the necessary skills which will enable them to live independently.
The charity started with six members of staff, three hostels, covering 62 beds and eight self-contained move-on units in Blackpool. Now, it has 49 move-on flats in Blackpool over 10 sites, with additional homelessness projects across the North of England, 60 members of staff, and having supported over 8,000 clients since its inception.
Broxtowe Youth Homelessness
Aimed specifically at providing support for young people aged 16-25 years old, Broxtowe Youth Homelessness works tirelessly to mitigate the impact of youth homelessness throughout Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. From the charity’s Peer Impact scheme, where young people share their stories with other young people, through to The Meditation Partnership, where an impartial third party is provided to assist disputing parties in resolving conflict, the charity offers a number of services to lessen the impact of homelessness for young individuals.
Highlighting the brilliant work these five charities are providing, they are just a few of so many offering the homeless community much needed support and resources. If you would like to make a donation to these charities, or discover other homelessness charities, download the Toucan app today and add them to your portfolio to make a monthly contribution and receive a regular impact statement on the positive effect of your giving.