This is indeed a visible sign of homelessness but there are many other people without a place to call home, a place of safety and a place of permanence.
In these difficult financial times much more homelessness is hidden – young people ‘sofa surfing’ – constantly on the move; people squatting in very poor or derelict housing; whole families living in a friends’ spare rooms.
Sleeping rough on the streets of London is frightening, demoralising and isolating. Homeless people are some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded people in our society. Nearly 7,500 people slept rough on London’s streets in 2017-18. On one night alone in autumn 2018, 1,283 people were found sleeping rough.
There are many organisations working to support people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless within South East London, including Emmaus Greenwich, The London Pathway, Hope Worldwide, Crisis Skylight, and many others.
If you’re in South East London and homeless or worried about becoming homeless, contact the Royal Borough of Greenwich Housing Inclusion team as soon as you can.
For people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, we offer a home for as long as someone needs as well as the opportunity to gain new skills in our social enterprise. Apply to join Emmaus Greenwich today.
If you’ve seen somebody sleeping rough, report a rough sleeper (Street Link).
There are many misconceptions about why people find themselves homeless and the wider issues connected to homelessness. Emmaus UK has found that 33 per cent of formerly homeless people at the charity find themselves there through relationship breakdown. Homelessness can affect anyone from any walk of life.
Each person has a different story to tell and a different set of circumstances that has contributed to them becoming homeless. By working together, individuals and organisations can give people the support they need and the opportunity to rebuild their lives. Once this opportunity is grasped, individuals can feel empowered to develop their own resilience and confidence to break the negative cycle of homelessness.
Every individual has a role to play in breaking the stigma associated with homelessness and helping those people at rock bottom.
If you want to help fight homelessness in London, volunteering for a homelessness charity, or donating either money or household goods to charities operating social enterprises, are simple steps that everyone can take.
Find out more about how you can get involved with Emmaus Greenwich and support our work.