You may have heard of two charities that help homeless people locally and across London and beyond: St Mungo’s and Broadway. Well, this year they merged to become St Mungo’s Broadway and they now provide a bed and support to more than 2,500 people a night who are either homeless or at risk and work to prevent homelessness, helping about 25,000 people a year. One of the charity’s eight housing projects in the borough has been near to Shepherd’s Bush Market in W12 for some years. Now, homeless people who have a local connection are set to move to a newly developed hostel, also in the area, called Hope Gardens. They support men and women through more than 250 projects, including hostels and semi-independent housing in Hammersmith & Fulham. They also provide advice services, specialist physical and mental health services and skills and work services. In addition, from a base in Shepherds Bush, St Mungo’s Broadway manages a national telephone referral service called StreetLink.
This is scheme funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Greater London Authority (GLA), and delivered by Homeless Link, which offers members of the public a way to contact services if they are concerned about someone sleeping rough and want to connect them with local services. People can call 0300 500 0914 or use the StreetLink app, leave some details, and the StreetLink team then pass those on the local outreach workers in the respective areas. Latest figures released by the GLA show that a total of 2,704 people slept rough in London between July and September this year – a 15% increase on the same period last year. More than half, 54%, of people contacted over these three months were new rough sleepers.
Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s Broadway, said: “It is shocking that we are continuing to see regular and steep rises in the numbers of people sleeping rough in London. “Whilst it’s true that many are being supported to quickly come off the streets through projects like No Second Night Out, the reality is that more people find themselves in the desperate situation where the streets are the only option.“
Howard Sinclair also urged the public to show support too, especially as colder, wetter weather sets in. “Sleeping rough can be harmful and dangerous to people’s health at the best of times. In colder wintery weather, it can be life-threatening. Outreach services like ours work to support people off the streets and into accommodation as quickly as possible.
Find out more about St Mungo’s Broadway campaign, Homeless Health Matters. Research has shown that:
•73% OF HOMELESS PEOPLE HAVE A PHYSICAL HEALTH PROBLEM
• 80% OF HOMELESS PEOPLE HAVE A MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM
• THE AVERAGE AGE OF MEN WHO DIE WHILST HOMELESS IS 47, FOR WOMEN IT IS 43.
Howard Sinclair said: “Homelessness hurts. Homeless people have some of the highest levels of poor health in our society but yet find it most difficult to access the help they need.” St Mungo’s Broadway have launched this campaign to demand action to improve the health of some of the most vulnerable.
Here at Shepherd’s Bush Market we recognise the vital support service that St Mungo’s Broadway provides for local people, and look forward to working in partnership with them in the coming year.