- Date: 09/10/2023
Honeycomb Group highlights homelessness support to mark World Homeless Day
Each October, organisations from across the globe come together to celebrate World Homeless Day.
Launched in 2010, the day raises awareness of homelessness and highlights the ever-growing need for continued support across the sector.
At Honeycomb Group, our homelessness specialist, Concrete, provides over 150 bedspaces to people impacted by homelessness across Stoke-on-Trent.
This includes men and women in 24/7 supported accommodation schemes, young care leavers and individuals and families living in homes across the local community.
Dean Marsh (pictured below) is Concrete’s Operations Manager for Community Housing. To mark World Homeless Day, he’s shared more about the importance of homelessness support across our local area.
He explained: “The reasons for homelessness are extensive, but particularly over the last 12 months the cost-of-living crisis has had a devastating impact – including on people that work full-time.
“On top of this, the amount of social housing that we have in the UK is falling every single year. People can’t access the housing and support that they need because there simply isn’t enough to go around.
“Most of us are only ever two paydays away from becoming homeless. This is something that tends to shock people when I tell them. It’s something we need to make more people aware of, so they realise how close it actually is.
“At Concrete we firmly believe that housing is a right, not a privilege. Everybody should be able to walk through their own front door at night, lock that door, know they are safe and feel happy and content where they live. Our mission is to ‘make homelessness history’ – it’s a huge challenge, but one that we chip away at every single day.”
This year, as part of that mission, Concrete has seen the launch of new services. This includes the SPHERE project, for users of psychoactive substances such as monkey dust. The project works with local people to secure them housing, alongside accessing tailored support and guidance.
The homelessness champion also introduced an LGBTQ+ support hub for members of the community who have been impacted by homelessness. What started as a weekly phone support has now grown into the recruitment of an LGBTQ+ Caseworker. This was thanks to Honeycomb Group, with support from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, securing funding from the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative.
Dean continued: “Our LGBTQ+ homelessness support hub is providing comfort and helping people rebuild their futures.
“No one should be rejected or forced to leave their home because of who they love and who they are but sadly it is happening. More support is needed to help the LGBTQ+ community, especially those finding themselves street homeless and most at risk.
“Our new LGBTQ+ Caseworker will support members of the LGBTQ+ community who are, or have been, homeless. They will provide wraparound support relating to housing advice, advocacy and more.
“We’re really excited to be expanding this support at Concrete and can’t wait to see the impact this has locally.”