One of the biggest ways you could make a difference in 2019 is probably not something you would expect. But for Justlife, one of the biggest things we want everyone to do in 2019 is to ‘spread the word’ about hidden homelessness, about all those living ‘close to the streets’ in unsupported temporary accommodation.
Unsupported Temporary Accommodation is still a relatively unknown entity – especially with the general public. Those of us at Justlife often find ourselves repeating what it is and what we do to our families and friends because it’s not as easy as saying ‘rough sleeping’ or ‘street homelessness.’ It’s harder to explain that some people can still be homeless while having a roof over their head, but just imagine with us:
Imagine your home. Now imagine how your home ‘feels.’ For many of us ‘home’ conjures up feelings of warmth, security, love, care and safety. Home is a safe place where we tend to find shelter from the world around us.
Now imagine if the place called your ‘home’ was infested with bed bugs, rats or mice. That you had no access to a kitchen and you were only allowed a kettle in your room. That you had a lock on your bedroom door but either you weren’t given a key by the landlord when you moved in, or that it has been broken so many times that it doesn’t work. Imagine you had nowhere else to go than this place – and yet, you could be evicted at a moment’s notice. There is little warmth, little safety and no security. Now imagine that it is possible that up to 75,000 people are living like this across England. 75,000.
Justlife is working to create local and national change for all those living hidden and homeless in this type of housing across England. But because those living in this type of housing often fall through the gaps of support and because local authorities do not always know about them – so many people still do not believe that this type of housing exists. One way to help us make change is to learn about Unsupported Temporary Accommodation and tell others that it exists and why we need to care about it.
Throughout 2019, you can help us spread the word by sharing our posts from Twitter and Facebook, read our research and reports, send our reports to your local MPs (all of them are available online) and just generally talking to your friends and family about Unsupported Temporary Accommodation.We look forward to making a difference in 2019 with help from all of you!