We've joined a campaign to save supported housing
1 September 2017
As MPs prepare to return after the summer break, Porchlight has a message for them: protect funding for homeless hostels.
We’re taking part in Starts at Home – a national campaign to let MPs understand the importance of supported housing such as our hostels and shared houses. It’s about ensuring that funding for these vital services continues for years to come. Without it, our vulnerable residents would end up sleeping on the streets.
We’re also fighting the government’s proposed Local housing Allowance cap – a funding change that could drastically affect the future of supported housing and the help charities like ours is able to give to people.
Supported housing isn’t limited to homeless hostels and shared houses. It can also be a women’s refuge centre, somewhere war veterans go to adjust to civilian life or a specialist home for people with learning disabilities.
Former security guard Ian, 42, came close to death on the streets before moving into one of our hostels. He’d been sleeping rough for 11 months and suffered a heart attack brought on by the physical toll of homelessness.
Thankfully, living in one of Porchlight’s homeless hostels for the past six months has allowed him to regain his health and get back on his feet.
Now, he has a message for MPs who can decide the future of funding for supported housing: “Please keep places like this open so they can help more people who are homeless. These hostels really allow people to get back on their feet.”
He describes getting a room at one of our hostels as a “relief” from the streets where he struggled to survive and even contended with violent members of the public. “People don’t realise what it’s like out on the streets. It’s dangerous and there are a lot of bad people out there,” he says.
However, Ian explains the benefits of supported housing go beyond simply having a roof over your head: “It’s not just about having somewhere to call your own. The hostel staff are fantastic – they’re always there to help you out and their door is always open. Now I can look forward to the future.”