The link between modern slavery and homelessness

A message for Anti-Slavery Day (18 October)

Shockingly, modern slavery exists in Kent.

As a homelessness charity, we sadly encounter many victims.

Some have been cast onto the streets by organised crime groups who can no longer profit from them. Others have fled their captors and have nowhere to stay.

Porchlight staff are trained to spot the signs and get specialist support in place for survivors of slavery.

We’ve shared our knowledge with councils, other charities and Kent Police so that more help is available for those that need it.

Paul Withrington, Porchlight's modern slavery champion, says: “Modern slavery is an issue across the county, but by working together we can encourage people to come forward to share their stories and experiences and stop the exploitation of vulnerable people.”

Recent victims of modern slavery helped by Porchlight include:

  • A man being made to work at a car wash for £2.50 an hour who was made homeless when coronavirus forced the business to shut. The owners had no other forms of work to make him do, and he was kicked out onto the street. He was reported to Porchlight as homeless. Working with the local authority, we’ve been able to get him housing and specialist support. Had it not been for the coronavirus crisis, the man would not have sought help from Porchlight.
  • A homeless woman who was trafficked against her will to be sexually exploited. Police were alerted and we are helped her access specialist support.