The Bridge (East Midlands) launches appeal to raise £500k to tackle the escalating homelessness crisis
Mounting energy bills, rising food prices and the lasting impact of the covid pandemic, mean that more people across the region are facing the very real prospect of homelessness.
Local charity: The Bridge (East Midlands), based in Loughborough, strives to help families and individuals who find themselves in crisis by providing them with specialist housing-related support, advice and assistance.
Between April 2020 and March 2021, the charity received 6,202 referrals – an increase of 39% compared to the same period the year before. Thankfully, they were able to prevent or resolve homelessness for around 92% of clients – but this life changing work has only been possible because of the support and generosity of local people.
The Bridge was first established as a Christmas Shelter during the 1993 festive period. It soon became clear that there was an all year round need for our services and so, in 1995, The Bridge’s first Housing Advice Centre was opened.
The process of becoming homeless is stressful, exhausting, and dangerous; but in many cases it is preventable. At The Bridge, they believe that everyone in our community deserves a place they can call home. Each of their early intervention, prevention, and relief services provides guidance to address the very real issues of housing and homelessness that is an escalating emergency in our local area.
The immediate pressures of the cost-of-living crisis is being witnessed daily by their frontline workers. Mary on their Young People & Families team recently met a young single mum who is reaching crisis point. “The mum was on pre-payment meters for her gas and electric, where there were mounting debts of £300. It was distressing to see a young mum worrying how she would be able to feed and bathe her children. This situation is equally sad as I know she is not alone in struggling with the rising costs – it will only get worse”.
The Young People & Families team will continue to ensure the mum, and many others, are accessing support to help with budgeting and ultimately aiming to prevent the family’s homelessness. However, to continue offering this life changing support to those who urgently need it, they need your help. Their essential core costs just to keep the organisation running are over £500,000 each year- so they desperately rely on the support of the local community to prevent and overcome homelessness, together.