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Midwinter blues?

December 23rd 2015
 

As Crisis opens its Christmas centres to an expected 4,000 homeless guests, new research by the charity reveals how one in four homeless people in the UK will spend this Christmas alone, while more than six out of 10 will spend it with neither family nor friends. Drawing on a survey of more than 500 people in homeless day centres across the country, the report reveals the extent of loneliness and isolation amongst homeless people, the stigma they experience and the heavy toll it takes on their mental and physical health.

It shows how six out of 10 homeless people suffer from loneliness, making them some of the most isolated people in our society. One in three has no contact with family, while less than one in four can call on a friend in an emergency.

The report also looks at the impact of loneliness on people’s lives. It shows how homeless people often or sometimes feel ashamed or invisible to others (reported by 70 per cent), leading nearly half to feel like they don’t deserve to be helped.

Crucially, these experiences make it even harder for people to rebuild their lives: more than half said they found it harder to seek help, while seven out of 10 found it harder to secure or maintain a job.

In the worst cases, people had even considered or attempted suicide. As Crisis opens Christmas centres across London, Edinburgh, Coventry, Birmingham and Newcastle, the charity is calling for action to make sure nobody has to face homelessness in the first place.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “Christmas should be a time for family and friends, for warmth and celebration, yet for homeless people it can be one of the hardest periods of the year - a cold, lonely experience to be endured rather than enjoyed. That’s what makes our work at Christmas so important.

“Yet loneliness isn’t just a problem at Christmas. Homelessness is a desperate, isolating experience that destroys people’s confidence and self-esteem and makes it even harder for them to get help. We already know that homeless people are over nine times more likely to commit suicide, and there can be little doubt that loneliness plays a major part in that tragedy.

Sparks also re-issued a call for a change to the law allowing everyone who is homeless to get help from their council.

Crisis at Christmas opens on December 23. Pick up your January/February issue of the Pavement – our survival guide written by people with experience of homelessness – at one of their London centres.

 
 
 

 

Contents

New arrivals hit the streets

Soup Run Forum

Web only: Emergency Islington shelter remains open during sub-zero temperatures

Chairman of the board

Rest in peace - in memory of lost friends

Prince poses

Starter pack boost

Wearing a jacket to beg?

Teens found guilty of killing Ralph Millward

The Passage withdraws service "as a last resort"

New learning centre for Glasgow

iHobo game causes controversy

Auckland extends ban on rough sleepers

Homeless interrogation

Affordable housing development opens in Edinburgh

Who decides?

Credit unions

New counts are optional

Nobby on stage

I will never forget you, my people

London homeless services in limbo over ?Ǭ£3.28m cuts

Disused night shelter re-opened for winter months

Coventry Cyrenians forced to cut services

London hub success for new rough sleepers

Crisis Skylight in Birmingham - a year on

Residents look ahead to staff upheaval

Midland Heart report

Labour call for hefty council tax levy on empty homes

Stik pic for the American Church

Lottery grant means new opportunities

Mungo?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s launches women?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s campaign

Homeless people forced into slavery

Homeless couple marry in Australia

Number of homeless in Southend underestimated

Basic banking for all

NSNO expands into west London

Scottish homeless applications drop by 19 per cent

Miami cannibal

Invisible People film UK homeless

The demilitarised zone in North America’s drug war

2012 - the year of the right to permanent accommodation in Scotland?

Crisis at Christmas

The Pavement is recruiting

Rough sleeper donates $250 to charity

Food voucher scheme scrapped

Commemorating friends and companions

Human rights for all

First person: Gemskii on regaining control of her life

The shades come off

Upfront: spikes

Comment: Spikes are the least of your worries

Opinion: All up in smoke?

Heartbreak Hotel, episode 4.

The Pied Piper of Housing

March for the Homeless

Being homeless doesn't mean you can't vote on May 7

The vulnerability ruling

The Queen’s speech

Criminalising homelessness

116-bed hostel for young homeless to close in Southwark

Sponsor a bed and rebuild a life

Hipsters neutralise anti-homeless spikes

What the Brexit will happen now?

Anti-homelessness protesters threatened with eviction, jail by Manchester city council

Showing our impact

Rebirth

The birth of the North Gower Action Group

A pianist, an artist, a dog called George and a new homeless app

Living water

Midwinter blues?

Councils back change in law to tackle rising homelessness

Having problems with your JSA?

Mayoral hustings on homelessness

Skippering

A major step in reducing homelessness?

Liverpool Police homeless curb beggars belief

Charity begins at home?

Legal aid charade

Surviving the streets – by those who've done it

Stop the scandal

Glasgow homeless services at risk

Bill gives councils legal duty to stop homelessness

 

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© Copyright 2009-2014 The Pavement. Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656 Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760 ISSN (online) 1757-0484