Projects We Support
Streets of London funds projects where the money will make a real difference to the lives of homeless people in London.
There are many great charities across the capital that provide daily support to homeless people, but because only a few of them are well known, many struggle to secure the funding they need.
We fund specific projects at a number of these charities each year, targeting the money where it's needed most, so it will have the biggest possible impact.
Using our knowledge and experience of the sector, we identify projects where we believe the funding will make a real difference, providing homeless people with the support they need to get back on their feet and empowering them to make lasting changes in their lives.
In 2017, Streets of London made grants totalling more than £125,000 to twelve amazing projects across London that support the city’s homeless.
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters (including pop star Ellie Goulding), over the last three years we’ve provided more than a quarter of a million pounds of vital funding to the homeless sector in London. Below is some information about the projects funded this year and the important work they do.
Day Centre (£12,500 grant)
People trying to move away from a life on the streets often have a range of practical, physical and emotional needs. As well as providing for rough sleepers' immediate needs (with food, showers, laundry facilities and emergency healthcare), Ace of Clubs - a day centre in Clapham - offers services such as accommodation advice, job-search support, education, apprenticeships, mental and physical healthcare, and addiction support. They provide support in a welcoming community environment, helping those who are or have been homeless, or are at risk, to make the transition to healthy, stable and independent living.
Life Skills for Young Homeless People (£10,000 grant)
Problems with family, including violence at home, are one of the key reasons some young people become homeless, and are left vulnerable and without anyone to turn to. The Cardinal Hume Centre runs a hostel for young homeless people aged 16-24, which provides them with accommodation and 24-hour support. Many of them have led chaotic lives and lack independent living skills. Through the life skills programme, they are helped to learn budgeting skills, how to make healthy meals on a budget, they gain exposure to a career in hospitality, and improve interpersonal skills and their confidence. In doing this, they develop greater ability to take positive control over the direction their lives take in the long-term.
Home for Good project – Tenancy Support (£10,800 grant)
The transition to independent living and life in a new community can be a challenge for many people who have been homeless. The Passage’s Home for Good project supports former rough sleepers in their new accommodation. Each person is matched with a volunteer with shared interests from the same borough, who meets with them regularly to set goals, help develop links with the community and help with practical tasks of setting up home. By helping to reduce social isolation and loneliness, which can sometimes lead to a return to the streets, and providing support with the challenges of everyday living, the project (which boasts a 98% success rate) helps those who were homeless to make a success of life in their new home.
Rehabilitation Hostel (£10,000 grant)
Those affected by addictions, such as to alcohol, drugs, or gambling, may not only lose their homes, families, and jobs, but their self-esteem, physical and mental health can be severely affected. Spitalfields Crypt Trust’s Acorn House provides homeless men with a second chance, giving them a safe and supportive environment where they can stay and recover from their addictions. They receive individual addiction counselling, attend group therapy, undertake training courses in things such as literacy and cooking, and benefit from comprehensive advice and support to develop their personal well-being.
Employment Support (£10,000 grant)
Most people who are homeless want to work, but because of their situation they often face a number of barriers and benefit from support in this area. The West London Day Centre provides an employment support programme that helps homeless people prepare for, find and sustain paid work. It helps with all of the practical elements of job-searching, such as preparing CVs, interview coaching, as well as providing a postal address and travel and clothing for interviews. They offer continued support when the person starts work and provide help with finding accommodation, enabling the person to sustain their new job.
Welfare and Advice (£12,500 grant)
People living on the streets are often particularly at risk during the freezing winter months. The Robes Project in Bermondsey provides a winter night shelter for people sleeping rough, offering life-saving support in the cold winter months, and helping guests with their longer-term needs such as housing and employment. Their Guest Welfare and Advice worker (whose salary costs are being covered by Streets of London) provides one-to-one support to night shelter guests, giving advice and helping them to develop personal plans, and supporting them into housing.
Café Training Programme (£10,000 grant)
People who have experienced homelessness can often struggle to find employment or work placements, but with support can develop the necessary skills and experience. The Margins Café Training Programme, based at Union Chapel in Islington, offers training for those who have been homeless, where - over the course of 4 months - they learn a variety of skills working in the café and serving people attending gigs at the venue. The project also works with local restaurants, where trainees can gain additional experience. They also receive counselling and employment mentoring, and they benefit from being part of a supportive community.
Multi-lingual Employment Support (£10,000 grant)
More than a third of London’s rough sleepers come from Central or Eastern Europe. If they don’t speak English well, they can find themselves stuck. However with the right support, they can find work and get off the streets. The Upper Room’s UR4Jobs project offers multi-lingual, personalised help to homeless people with finding and keeping work, providing free English classes, entry-level skills training, access to jobs, and holistic support to help individuals overcome their personal barriers to employment. They receive one-to-one help and can benefit from a range of support that includes a doctor’s surgery and free haircuts.
Housing and Welfare Advice (£10,000 grant)
For many people the process of finding housing and accessing benefits can be a difficult one; the benefits system can be complicated to navigate, especially given recent changes that require digital access. The Manna Society’s day centre sees about 120-150 people per day and offers them a range of practical help and advice. Beyond meeting their immediate needs, the housing and welfare advice service helps people to find and sustain accommodation, and helps them with accessing benefits.
English Tuition (£11,700 grant)
Language and communication skills are an essential part of helping those who have experienced homelessness improve their employability and integration into society. At Shelter from the Storm, guests can receive one-to-one support to improve their spoken and written language, enhancing their chances of finding employment or placements, as well as helping them develop relationships and reducing feelings of social isolation.
It’s Your Move re-settlement programme (£10,000 grant)
Sleeping rough can be very dangerous for women. The Marylebone Project’s ‘It’s Your Move’ re-settlement scheme provides women who are homeless with help to find and stay in long-term accommodation. Many of the women may have never had responsibility for managing their own home, and for many the move to living independently can be very difficult. The programme offers support not only with finding housing, but also with meeting the challenges of living independently. The women are given training, advice and support around budgeting, dealing with landlords, identifying sources of support, and exploring ways they can get involved in their local community.
Migrant support (£10,000 grant)
More than a tenth of people sleeping rough in London are from non-EU countries, but cuts to legal aid for immigration cases mean that they are often left with no access to advice. Many have limited English and minimal understanding of their rights, leaving them very vulnerable and with no way of establishing their status. The immigration caseworker at Glass Door Homeless Charity offers free advice and guidance to those with no access to public funds, developing a relationship with each client in order to help them establish their immigration status and find a way off the street.
A huge thank you to our supporters, without whose generosity none of this would be possible.
With the right support, people who have experienced homelessness can turn their lives around. Streets of London raises money that goes directly to projects that are changing lives every day, helping ensure that people who are homeless are able to get the support they need. The issues they face are often complex, but attention to their individual situations and needs can make all the difference in helping them move off the streets and move on with their lives.
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