Did you know that for every person you see rough sleeping, there are at least another 20 ‘hidden homeless?’ And those numbers are on the rise.
You may have seen a great deal in the media recently about the Government’s latest shocking figures on the rise of homelessness. A staggering 26% rise in rough sleeping.
I’m Nick, an Outreach Worker with Turning Tides and I really want to take this opportunity to tell you about my experiences as an outreach worker for Turning Tides. And share some of the frightening picture of escalating homelessness we’re seeing locally.
Our services are seeing increases of 29%, 59%, 66%… Many people are hidden away in the countryside – it’s really alarming.
Your support is even more vital right now, because the truth is that the government statistics don’t give the full picture of what’s happening around us, and the impact of the cost of living crisis.
Without your support, many people in our local community may have to face the trauma of homelessness completely alone.
Homelessness is – really – hidden. There’s been a huge increase in the number of people sofa-surfing, sleeping in their cars and vans, or living hidden away in woods and fields on the edges of towns across your county.
As an outreach worker I visit people trying to survive living and sleeping rough – often in tents, sheds or makeshift shelters. It used to be that the majority of people I found came from backgrounds of multiple deprivation, and I still see a lot of people like this. But increasingly we’re seeing people who were doing ok not so long ago. Some of them have recently lost their jobs, many have been evicted, and some are in work and homeless. Think of that – working hard and still not having a safe place to call home.
Please, please read Guy’s story below. He’s someone who is in work, a conscientious employee, cycling miles every day to wash cars. But he’s homeless – living in an old leaky shed, out of sight, in one of this county’s most picturesque areas.
You can make a difference….you really can save lives.
Turning Tides’ Chief Executive, John Holmstrom is very concerned: “The future of our frontline services must be secured if we are to continue our life saving work. People come to us, very often, because they have no other place to turn to. Some are extremely vulnerable and experiencing severe mental ill health, and physical illness, from having to live on the streets. There is no doubt in my mind – if our community hubs are unable to remain open – people’s lives will be at risk.”
Our community hubs and day centres are seeing the same awful picture – people turning up exhausted in the morning, having had to try and find a safe place to sleep rough, and asking for a shower and some breakfast so they can go to work.
I have a safe home to go to, and I deeply hope you do too. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for people like Guy and the others. It isn’t right.
A donation of £50 at this crucial time could enable my colleagues across Turning Tides to reach more people.
To offer more help finding safe, secure accommodation for those who are trying hard but still can’t afford to live.
I’ve helped hundreds of people onto their pathway out of homelessness over the years, so I know people can find a way out, with help. But I’m genuinely worried for the future. You can be there for the rising numbers of people who need us now.
For me, Guy himself sums up what I’m seeing every day: