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.
Streets of London is delighted to announce a new series of grants totalling £100,000 to ten amazing projects across London that support the city’s homeless.
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, in the last four years Streets of London has provided more than £350,000 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.
Rough Sleepers’ Space (£10,000 grant)
The first priority for many homelessness services is meeting people’s immediate needs – for food, clothes, warmth and safety, and healthcare; particularly after a night spent out on the streets. The Spires Centre in Streatham offers a Rough Sleeper’s Space each week-day morning, where those who have been sleeping rough can have these needs met, but also feel welcomed and receive one-to-one support that aims to help them break the cycle of homelessness. Support includes helping people to access accommodation, job-related training, also treatment services, such as for mental health and substance abuse; as well as building skills and resilience.
Read Anthony’s story HERE.
Catering, Gardening & Baking training programmes (£10,000 grant)
Supporting people to manage things such as mental health or substance use issues can be critical to helping them out of homelessness and unemployment. At the same time, building their skills and confidence around work can help them to more actively tackle other issues in their lives. Providence Row, in East London, offers work training programmes in gardening, catering and baking, providing trainees with the opportunity to develop practical skills and gain qualifications in food hygiene, baking and horticulture, as well as offering support into further volunteering, work placements or employment. Trainees taking part in the gardening scheme (run from the charity’s roof-top garden) help to grow produce for the kitchen to use, while catering trainees help to produce 30-50 meals daily for rough sleepers and vulnerably housed people using the centre. While taking part, trainees are also able to access support and advice around other issues they may be facing.
Read Bobo’s story HERE.
Step Up volunteering project (£10,000 grant)
Overcoming homelessness is often about more than finding accommodation and work; before these things can happen some people may need support to rebuild their confidence, their skills, their sense of engagement and worth. Volunteering can be a very effective way of doing this. At The Connection at St Martin's day centre in Westminster, an in-house volunteering programme provides homeless people who may not yet be ready for external work with an opportunity for meaningful occupation and the chance to develop their skills, including things such as time-keeping, communicating with others and working in a team. They help with a variety of tasks around the centre, for example setting up activities, greeting new clients, helping in the kitchen, supporting training for other clients and involvement in the recruitment of new staff. It can be a very empowering experience for people. By taking an active volunteering role, people are made to feel useful, and regain confidence by recognising themselves as not just as someone who needs to be helped but who is capable of doing things and helping others too. Most volunteers progress onto other training, volunteering, and work opportunities.
Read Dennis’s story HERE.
Night shelter (£10,000 grant)
Night shelters can offer respite from the streets for vulnerable rough sleepers. Staff there can also help to refer people to other essential services, such as healthcare, and give support around accessing longer-term, secure housing. The 999 Club in Lewisham provides night shelter guests with a bed for the night, an evening and morning meal, and access to one-to-one support regarding housing and benefits. It allows people the opportunity to get off the streets for a night, socialise with others, and receive help with accessing housing, benefits, and medical services. Guests can also receive training in sustaining a tenancy and budgeting.
Mentoring and Befriending Programme (£10,000 grant)
Sometimes the move into paid employment can be a big adjustment for people who have been homeless, and support around this transition can be invaluable in helping a person to sustain their new job. C4WS homelessness charity in Camden operates a Jobs Club that helps homeless people to build skills and search for employment. As part of the club, people who have moved into paid employment are able to meet with a mentor once a week, someone who is independent of their workplace and accommodation, and who can help them adjust to their new job and support them with any issues that may come up. A supportive relationship that allows the person to talk any difficulties through with a trusted mentor can make all the difference. It can be things such as communicating well with colleagues, acting professionally in the work-place, time-keeping, as well as exploring opportunities for skills and career development.
Read Chris’s story HERE.
Life Skills for Young Homeless People (£10,000 grant)
Living independently requires a number of skills that we may take for granted, such as cooking, cleaning, financial responsibility and the ability to communicate effectively with neighbours and landlords. Supporting young homeless people to develop these skills can be essential in enabling them to sustain long-term accommodation and make positive changes in their lives. New Horizon Youth Centre works with young people aged 16-21, many of who have had to leave home because of family breakdown, may be experiencing emotional and physical health problems, and can be very vulnerable. Their Independent Living Programme supports young people to develop the skills needed to live and maintain tenancies in shared accommodation. This includes practical skills such as budgeting and paying bills, but also communication skills, living as part of a community and conflict resolution, as well as understanding their rights and responsibilities.
Read Abu’s story HERE.
Employment, Training and Education support (£10,000 grant)
A job can provide someone not only with money to live on, but also meaningful occupation, a sense of self-worth, belonging and a social network. The opportunity to develop skills and learning, for example through training, education and work experience, can be a vital step in getting off the streets and moving towards independent work and living. At Emmaus Lambeth, residents volunteer full-time with Emmaus’ social enterprise, which gives them important work experience, while they continue to look for longer-term employment, or training and education opportunities. The Employment, Training and Education worker supports residents in seeking and preparing for work, training and education courses, and helping them to create a personal development plan that will enable them to find the right opportunities to fulfil their ambitions.
Home for Good project – Tenancy Support (£10,000 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, providing ongoing support to people once they’re in a place of their own, and help to develop independent living skills. Support is tailored to the individual but can involve helping people to keep on top of their bills and control their finances; manage mental health or substance use problems; navigate the benefits system; or get into training or employment. 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 people who were homeless to make a success of life in their new home.
Creating a Communal Space (£10,000 grant)
Social activities and communal spaces are often a key aspect of the support provided by homelessness services, providing a welcoming environment where people who have been marginalised and experienced social isolation can engage with others and learn new skills. Caritas Anchor House in Newham provides 140 beds for homeless people, and their Switch Project aims to develop the communal space in the building, by refurbishing the ground floor area. Offering high quality surroundings to people who are homeless is important, because it confers a sense of value on the people using the space. The space is used by clients to access computers, a library, pool and sporting activities, as well as for meetings and social events. The project aims to create a warm and welcoming environment, where guests will feel valued and able to participate in a community.
Day Centre (£10,000 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 to make the transition to healthy, stable and independent living.
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.
If you’d like to support our work, please click HERE to make a donation today. Thank you!
Previous Streets of London-funded projects include:
Rehabilitation hostel - offering a safe and supportive environment for homeless men recovering from addictions
Re-settlement scheme for homeless women - helping them to find and stay in long-term accommodation
Catering training programme - giving homeless people the skills and work experience to pursue a new career in catering
Mental health support - providing proper assessment and support for homeless people suffering from mental health difficulties
Hospital project - helping to prevent homeless hospital patients from being discharged back onto the streets
Housing and welfare advice service - supporting rough sleepers into accommodation and providing help with accessing benefits
Migrant support project - offering free advice and guidance to help people establish their immigration status and find a way off the street
English language tuition - one-to-one support, to help non-English speakers become less socially isolated and more employable
Employment support project - helping homeless people to look for jobs and then find and keep work (careers advice, help with CVs, job applications, clothes and travel for interviews)
Stories from the Street - some of the people helped by Streets of London projects
Anthony, who had experienced problems with drugs and been in and out of prison, found himself homeless and sofa surfing. He ended up staying with his niece, but he began to feel himself to be a burden and so left. He slept in an electrical cupboard before making his way to the Spires centre. Through their Rough Sleeper’s Space, his support worker Shirley helped him to find accommodation within a few days. He’s continued to receive support from Spires, such as training in budgeting, which has helped him sustain his accommodation, and he is still living in the same place. He now volunteers at Spires and is in training to become a support worker himself.
“Volunteering is a way for me to say thank you and to give something back. I plan to complete a support worker course as that is now my ambition.”
Bobo had been homeless, but even after finding some accommodation he was struggling; he wasn’t engaged in much outside activity, and he was lonely, unhappy and drinking quite a bit. He joined the bakery training scheme at Providence Row, despite having never baked before in his life, and picked up some of the skills quickly. He has gone on to gain a Level 2 accreditation in Food Hygiene, and also now mentors other bakery trainees. Additionally, he has been getting involved in other activities such as IT classes and the Gardening Training Scheme. Taking part has not only helped Bobo develop practical and transferable skills, but also to regain his confidence and mental well-being, and he has been drinking less since getting involved. He is now looking to find work in his former field of security and feeling much more positive about his future.
“It’s putting me back to normal, where I was supposed to be…and now I’m feeling better. Mentally, physically, I’m okay. I’ve got something every Wednesday, Friday, I have to go do something, something that I like.”
After experiencing homelessness, Dennis knew what it was to feel a real lack of self-worth and confidence. He began taking part in the Step Up volunteering programme at Connection at St-Martin-in-the-Fields, and has held a number of roles through the programme, such as serving as a first point of contact for new clients at the centre, supporting fundraising events, and participating in interview panels for new staff. Each role brought different challenges that supported his personal development, but most importantly helped him to rebuild his sense of worth. He is now living independently, and encourages other clients at the centre to get involved, knowing the difference that it made for him in discovering his talents and strengths.
“I have been there in the depths of despair and I felt that I would be good for nothing. Now I am trusted, empowered – a voice that is listened to. My confidence helps other homeless people to the point that some even think of me as a friend/confidante. There is no better feeling.”
Chris, 59, had a background as a mechanical engineer but had not been in work for more than ten years. He suffered from memory loss, as well as depression. Through the Jobs Club at C4WS, he expressed an interest in construction work, and was able to take part in a practical course and was also matched with a mentor. The new skills he has developed through the course and the positive relationship he developed with his mentor have changed things for him dramatically. He is now going on to work towards a construction certificate and is also volunteering supporting other guests at C4WS. Although the six month mentoring scheme has ended, he and his mentor have remained friends, and Chris says that he no longer feels worthless for the first time in a long time.
“The course was life-saving. Getting to know new skills which I am still learning now through painting and decorating, brick-laying, plastering and rendering – it saved my life – fantastic! And [my mentor] is like my best friend…I mean that.”
Life at home for Abu, 19, was troubled; some traumatic experiences led to difficult relationships between family members, and Abu was eventually asked to leave home. He found himself homeless. He began attending New Horizon Youth Centre and got involved with a number of the services there, such as the centre’s independent living skills workshops and Employment, Education and Training work. He started building up work experience, developing his CV and looking for jobs. However, his unstable living situation made securing employment difficult. When a place opened up in the charity’s own accommodation, though, Abu was able to move in. He received support from them with learning to cook and pay bills, and managing his benefits. He also found a support network in his new housemates. Learning to live independently in his new home, he was able to focus his energy on finding work, and after a very competitive process he has now secured a prestigious apprenticeship in business administration, which he hopes will lead to a career.
“I can’t put in words how important having my own space is. Now I have somewhere to call my own!”
*Please note some names have been changed to protect individuals’ privacy.*