Thursday, 22 December 2011

Sofa Surfer

In My Shoes attended the launch of a short film, Sofa Surfer, at BOXPARK yesterday.

Watch the trailer

Sofa Surfer Trailer from Gaelle Tavernier on Vimeo.

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40 years of Crisis

This year is the 40th year that Crisis at Christmas has taken place in London. 40 years!

Crisis at Christmas provide food, shelter, somewhere to sleep and all manner of services for the homeless and the needy for many, many people at a crucial time of the year.

I thought this might be a good time to consider the question of homelessness and to give you a few facts. Homelessness isn't just the man outside the tube asking for money, it can take different forms. There are those who live in hostels and other kinds of temporary accomodation. It also includes those who are sofa surfing; sleeping on friends' and relatives' sofas in the front room.

Now for some facts, in 2010 Crisis at Christmas used nine centres:

  • Nearly 3000 people visited

  • 500 people slept in one of the crisis centres

  • 670 people had healthcare appointments

  • 290 people saw the dentist

  • 242 people saw the optician

  • 231 people saw the podiatrist

In total Crisis served 25,000 meals.

In order to provide all of this Crisis at Christmas needed 8000 volunteers.

Shelter told us this week that this Christmas morning 70,000 children will wake up in temporary accomodation.

According to Government figures, the number of households declared homeless so far this year is up by 13 per cent from the same period last year. (Left Foot Forward blog provides some useful context).

In the news just this week from a study by the University of Sheffield commisioned by Crisis: Homeless people die 30 years younger than the national average. The report included people living in hostels as well as those living on the streets. Drug and alcohol abuse account for a third of deaths among homeless people.

Leslie Morphy, the Chief executive of Crisis commented: "It is shocking, but not surprising that homeless people are dying much younger than the general population."

The same report found that homeless people are nine times more likely to commit suicide.

One in a hundred young people experience some form of homelessness each year. That means that 80,000 young experience homelessness each year often through no fault of their own.

Crisis estimates there are 400,000 hidden homeless in the UK, of these it is thought 250,000 are under 25.

I'm not going to make any comment, I have just brought these facts to your attention and will leave you to draw your own conclusions.