Homeless people in South London need a #SummerShelter and with your support, we can make it happen.
We are crowdfunding to raise £20,000 to open our first Summer Shelter which will sleep 20 people per night and will be the only shelter in Lewisham and one of only three Night Shelters open in London over the summer.
While many of us take the opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the sun, homeless people will find it even harder to find a safe, quiet and unexposed place to sleep this Summer.
With no door to lock behind them, homeless people are 17 times more likely to experience violence including being hit, kicked, urinated on, threatened, robbed, sexually assaulted and verbally abused. Rough sleeping has a grave effect on homeless people’s mental and physical health resulting in a life expectancy of just 43 for women and 47 for men.
Rough sleeping is a devastating experience – not just in winter but at any time of year. That’s why we would like your support to extend our Night Shelter so we can open in summer 2018.
We are crowdfunding to raise a further £20,000 to fund our summer shelter. For just £17.15 you could buy someone a night off the streets and begin their journey towards a brighter future.
What is the Night Shelter?
The Night Shelter is a 10 week programme repeated during the year. It is a holistic pathway that combines emergency accommodation with the wider support services offered by the 999 Club to empower people to change their lives. The Night Shelter provides respite from sleeping rough which gives homeless people the space and opportunity to engage with our services including:
- The Gateway day centre offering access to practical facilities, such as showers, laundry and internet access;
- Advice & Support to help with benefits and find and keep a home;
- Employability support to access training, gain qualifications, get work ready and find a job;
- Learning & Activities workshops to gain new skills and increase confidence and self-esteem;
- Personal Transition Service for highly personalised one-to-one support focused on each person’s unique strengths, talents and abilities;
- Health & Wellbeing clinics hosted in our Gateway to improve physical and mental health.
How does the Night Shelter work?
The Night Shelter runs seven days a week for 10 weeks at a time. We provide each Night Shelter guest with a locker, mattress, bedding, towels and a welcome pack including essential items such as deodorant, razors and sanitary products. They are assigned a case manager who assists with securing any missing ID, accessing or maximising benefits, receiving healthcare, getting a job and securing housing.
Guests arrive at 7.30pm each evening for a nutritious meal cooked by a team of volunteers. During this time guests can also access laundry facilities, showers and computers before settling down for the night in our hall. We provide breakfast in the morning and guests are encouraged to stay on to work with the team in our Gateway.
When does the Night Shelter run?
The Night Shelter runs from our onsite hall at the 999 Club in 10 week blocks. Traditionally night shelters run during the coldest months of the year but we believe sleeping rough is a devastating experience all year round.
We are currently delivering a three-year pilot to extend the Night Shelter to provide year-round support. This includes running two 10 week Night Shelter seasons in year 1 (2017), running 3 in year 2 (2018), and 4 in year 3 (2019). By 2019 we aim to have the shelter operating for 40 weeks, across all four seasons.
This year's Night Shelter dates are:
- Winter – January 2nd to March 11th 2018
- Spring – April 3rd to June 11th 2018
- Summer – July 4th to September 9th 2018
What will my money be spent on?
It costs us £17.15 per place per night to run the Night Shelter or £24,010 per season. We need to raise a further £20,000 to fund the Summer Night Shelter and any money you donate will go towards:
- Fees to obtain vital identity documents (e.g., birth certificates or Citizen’s Cards);
- Travel expenses to attend important appointments and viewings;
- Nutritious breakfasts and dinners;
- Fresh bedding and towels for each guest;
- One-to-one case management support;
- Tenancy sustainment workshops;
- Night Shelter project workers and volunteer expenses.
What is the homelessness situation in Lewisham?
The increase in provision at the 999 Club is in response to a crisis of homelessness across England, as the number of homeless people rises. The number of homeless people sleeping on the streets in England is the highest since records began, and has risen year-on-year since 2010. This ongoing increase is also reflected in the charity’s home borough of Lewisham where the number of homeless people increased by 70% from quarter 1 to quarter 4 of 2017, as reported by CHAIN.
Lewisham has high levels of inequality and high housing costs, which contribute to poverty levels. Indeed, Lewisham is in the top 20% most deprived local authorities in England, with 1:4 working people earning less than the Living Wage. High housing costs, coupled with a shortage of social housing means more residents living in the private rented sector where rents are rising fast and many residents are subject to rogue landlords and insecurity (Lewisham Poverty Commission, 2017).
Therefore, the context in which we work is one of high levels of homelessness and poverty, inaccessibility to affordable, safe and secure housing, poor educational attainment and poor health.