The Homeless Fund: The Independent launches its Christmas campaign

We are establishing a new fund to help provide financial support for vitally needed services helping those who are sleeping rough or at risk of homelessness

Wednesday 20 November 2019 15:19 GMT
The Homeless Fund: Zeenat's story

As temperatures drop in much of the northern hemisphere, The Independent is launching its latest Christmas campaign, this year focusing on homelessness.

In partnership with the Evening Standard we will be spending the coming months focusing on – and raising funds for – those who do not have a permanent place to call home.

In the UK, and particularly for those living in cities, the issue has become noticeably starker in recent years. Two people are dying every day on the streets of Britain, and the total number of people sleeping rough has risen by a fifth over the last year.

While the definition of “homelessness” differs from country to country, there are believed to be around 150 million homeless people around the world – representing 2 per cent of the global population. And a further 20 per cent lack adequate housing.

In 2019, this is not good enough.

From Moscow to New York, and many places in between, we want to tell the stories of homeless people around the world. While there is no one fix-all cure, we want to highlight global initiatives to combat homeless – whether that’s private landlords reducing rent in Seattle, or apprenticeship schemes to help homeless people find work in Delhi.

We are establishing a new fund, The Homeless Fund, to help provide financial support for vitally needed services helping those who are sleeping rough or at risk of homelessness.

In the coming months, we will start working with partners around the world to help their projects – celebrating those who are taking action to combat this scourge on their societies and finding ways to better their success.

That is why we want you, our readers, to tell us the stories of organisations around the world that are making a difference in the fight to end homelessness. We want to know about the inspirational people taking steps to help those who have no safe space to call home.

We know this is an ambitious initiative. But our campaign is a challenge to readers about what kind of world they want to live in.

The factors pushing people into homelessness can be varied, and often deeply personal – from a lack of housing, poverty, and family break-ups. The situation can also arise, or be exacerbated by, the outbreak of conflict, and by natural disasters.

When most of the world enjoys a better standard of living than the generations that came before them, we want to look at what is leading so many to still live precarious existences, in often dangerous situations.

In the UK, the most acute problem is shamefully found in our most prosperous city: London. Of the 320,000 homeless in England and Wales, some 170,000 are in the capital and the majority of those are found in the borough of Westminster – home to the country’s seat of power.

That is why the first programmes we will help support will focus on this city where the need is most acute, and the donations received will fund programmes that help those from around the UK who end up on the streets of London.

Christmas is a time to remember what each of us have in our lives and to be thankful for it. This Christmas, though, we want to make sure that those with nothing are not forgotten.

Join us in helping people around the world who do not have a safe place to sleep at night get the attention they deserve – and please donate to make sure that next year is a better year for some.

This year’s Christmas campaign is for The Homeless Fund, which will finance desperately needed services. The campaign will highlight the worst instances of homelessness globally, with money raised going to help homeless projects in London. Click here to donate.

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