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According to recent research, the number of homeless people in the UK has been on a steady increase from 2010. Although housing shortages have played a part in this situation, the continued cut in benefits has been a major factor as well. The caps placed on the overall benefits provided to out-of-work households has hit hard, especially for larger families that live in London. The CAP Foundation Homeless in Need project arose as a result of outreach work in various areas of Tower Hamlets, especially in areas around Spitalfields, Bethnal Green and Whitechapel.
Loss of Skills
Regardless of the reason for an individual’s homelessness, the situation of finding oneself without a place to live can have brutal consequences. One of the least appreciated is that homeless people may not think about employment or education while they are worrying about putting a roof over their head. The resulting loss of skills triggers a ruthless cycle of poverty caused by a loss of skills, making it even harder for them to find employment in the future.
Effects of Homelessness on Health
Homelessness has a profound effect on an individual’s mental health. A telling statistic is that, on average, homeless people die at age 47, which is 30 years younger than the UK’s national average. The related poverty coupled with uncertainty about the future can severely damage a person’s self-confidence and self-esteem and increase their risk of clinical depression.
Effects of Homelessness on Physical Health
It should come as little surprise that poor health and homelessness go hand in hand. Sleeping in cheap hostels, on the streets or in a substandard, unhygienic dwelling always has a damaging effect on an individual’s physical well being. A survey found that over two-thirds of homeless people who live in hostels suffer from one or more of pneumonia, frostbite, trench foot, bronchitis and infected wounds.
Violence, Crime and Drug Abuse
The feelings of hopelessness, depression and constant worries about the future may lead homeless people into substance abuse as a coping mechanism or to become dealers of illegal drugs. The shady world of illegal narcotics is a violent one, and one which homeless substance abusers and dealers are often victims or perpetrators of violence and crime.
The Homeless In Need Project Objectives
The homeless people we aim to support will be awarded with basic needs shopping vouchers. Our main objective is to raise awareness of the rise in homelessness, especially in the ethnic minority community and focus on the professional organisations to target resources to these vulnerable groups and enhance community involvement. The project also aims to provide one to one sessions with key workers to build confidence of homeless people to access professional services and hopefully people can “move on” from a position of vulnerability to long-term and sustainable independent living.
We Need Your Help
The CAP Foundation launched the Homeless in Need project as an opportunity to support vulnerable people to change their lives and lifestyles. The project launch event will provide a platform to bring together all the professional service providers under one arena to sign-post services as well as provide health, housing, substance misuse and career advice.
We will be working with all the homeless shelters and third-sector organizations to make this a flagship project where the vulnerable people are able to come forward and access professional services as well as the clothes and food bank, refreshments, social interaction.
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