Homelessness; Help and Hope

National Hunger and Homelessness awareness week. 11-19th November 2017.

It seems the day have gotten shorter and colder but one of my own observations is that I am now seeing more and more people living in Coventry streets. I will be shedding light on those left without a home this winter and finding out if people are aware of help that may be available to them if they were to become homeless.

Coventry was named as a homeless hotspot last year in 2016 for the high amount of those left without homes. The statistics showed that 1 in 204 people were without a home, today more than 307,000 are homeless throughout the UK. It is National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness week from 11th-19th November, during this week there are a number of events that the public can donate to and volunteer, for the cause. There are also opportunities for the public to get educated on issues surrounding homelessness and Hunger in the UK.

https://youtu.be/u0qkgsl3brM

Walking through the street of Coventry city centre I came across 5 homeless people in just a one hour lunch break. One man that I met was sat in front of a shop in a sleeping bag. Despite not having much he had a dog by his side.

I asked Ben if he had known where to go to get help he stated

“I didn’t know about any of these shelters before I was homeless myself. I’ve been in and out of temporary places for about a year and just can’t wait to be settled.”

Some may wonder if homeless people were able to get help then why would they choose to live on the streets? Despite Coventry’s high homelessness rate, there are a number of charity’s that aim to help young people who may face homelessness. Such as Coventry Cyrenians, YMCA and Reall, all based in Coventry.

 

When asking the Operations Manager of Coventry Cyrenians, Izzy Hawkins, about her day to day job role and it included finding accomadation for the homeless i.e Hostels.

I asked Izzy if she felt that people knew of the help that is available if anyone were to ever become homeless.

“Coventry City Council offer many services that try to help the homeless. If we can’t help then there are other services that can due to us being self-funded. There is a lot of good resources and information if people just take the time to read them.”

There is no specific age range for homelessness and it can happen in anyone’s life, Izzy went on to say that the ages can range from 16-75.

I then came across a homeless woman Tracy, 33 who seemed thrilled with the idea of homelessness awareness becoming more talked about. Tracy explained that she had been homeless for around 2 and a half years. I then asked the lady if she knew where to go for help or if she had any in the past 2 years.

She replied:

“Yes I have had help off the council after a long period of time, I’ve been in sheltered accomadation, a hostel for people with complex needs. It has been a long journey and hopefully I will find a stable flat with the help of my hostel.”

There are over 20 homeless shelters in the coventry are that can provide food and shelter to those in need. Homelessness can stem from many different situations for example Domestic violence in the home. Anyone can become homeless and it is very important that people are aware of the possible help that is on offer if needed.

 

Tyra Guy-Williams

One Response

  1. Mike Fowler

    Your report implies that Coventry Cyrenians helps find accommodation for people. For clarity, Coventry Cyrenians actually provides more supported accommodation for single homeless people in the city than any other single agency. Even though we have no contracts with Coventry City Council and receive no grant funding locally we still provide about 130 units of accommodation and support residents not just to acquire the skills to live independently but also to get them back into work and have an extremely good track record at doing so.

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