“The Vicar's Relief Fund gave me the boost to be where I am now, and be in the position of knowing where I’m going again in life.”
Thank you for your interest in helping people experiencing homelessness in the UK.
Homelessness continues to be a real threat to people’s stability and wellbeing across the UK.
In England alone, 282,000 single people, couples and families were judged as homeless or threatened with homelessness by local authorities in 2020/21, according to The Homelessness Monitor: England 2022.
And homelessness is set to soar throughout the UK amid the cost of living crisis.
However, with your support, homelessness in the UK is an issue which can be tackled, little by little.
Often, a little support can make a huge difference to people’s lives, giving them the chance to find a home and overcome their personal challenges.
Read on to find out how you can change someone’s life today.
Before we get started
Before we get started
If you’d like to learn more about the various ways we help people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, then sign up to our newsletter for the latest updates.
Explore our UK homeless charity network and see how you make a difference
You can make a huge difference to people’s lives.
Explore our financial support, appeals, and our partner networks, and find out how you can support people experiencing, or facing homelessness in your local area.
Help people experiencing homelessness in London
We’ve started with London as the issue of homelessness is extremely acute in the capital.
The Homelessness Monitor: England 2022, predicts “an increase in core homelessness from 2021, assuming no significant amendment to existing housing, homelessness and social security policies.”
Under this scenario, overall core homelessness in 2024 is projected to be one-third higher than in 2019, with the largest rises anticipated in sofa surfing and rough sleeping, and especially steep rises predicted in London.
Read on to find out how you can change lives in the capital.
The Connection at St Martin’s
In the heart of London, you help to provide funding to The Connection at St Martin’s.
The Connection is a London homeless charity that enables people sleeping rough on the capital’s streets to find a place to live.
It connects them with skilled staff who understand the complexity of their situation and who listen, and then help.
Step by step, these workers provide tailored support that enables someone to regain their health, a home, and their independence.
Our stories: Jenifer
Jenifer grew up in Brazil with dreams of coming to Europe. In 2005, she moved to London and fell in love with the city.
Over the next 10 years, she worked hard and carved out a successful career, being promoted to Assistant Restaurant Manager at a private members club.
However, after a period of severe depression, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and things took a turn.
“I didn’t know anything about that illness. I was in a very bad stage,” says Jenifer. “It compromised everything in my life – my relationship, job, place to live, everything.”
After spending time in hospital to help her recovery, she returned to work but struggled to cope. She left her job and soon after could not pay the rent. She was then left both without an income and a home.
“You feel like you don’t belong here anymore, that people don’t want you here… No one wants a problem because we all have things to sort out. I was on the side, on the edge of society.”
She found herself on the streets, sleeping in Paddington station.
That was until a friend told her about The Connection’s night shelter.
Here, Jenifer found safety and support, and met Su, a Housing and Resettlement Adviser. When Coronavirus caused The Connection to close, Su helped Jenifer secure a place where she could stay safe during the pandemic.
“The first person I spoke to at The Connection was Su… she was always in touch with me and when I was in the hotel, she used to call me to check if I was okay. I feel very safe in her hands.”
Jenifer found the medical and psychological support she needed at The Connection, while Su found her accommodation in a women’s hostel, a vital stepping stone towards getting a stable home again.
Jenifer enrolled in classes to improve her writing in English and continued receiving support for her health. She is now determined to get a new job and is once again looking to the future.
“I have this feeling of hope, I have this feeling I can start again… a big part of it came from The Connection. All these people who helped us to get on track again. Because if you don’t have this support it would be impossible… If you don’t recover your wellbeing, you cannot plan your life.”
The Frontline Fund
Our Frontline Fund funds organisations across the UK to deliver services that support people experiencing homelessness.
We currently fund six projects, based across the four nations of the UK.
The projects each focus on supporting people to secure – and keep – a safe place to live.
This includes providing access to healthcare, legal advice and mental health support to help people move on from homelessness.
Here’s more information about the organisations we support:
Caring in Bristol
Caring in Bristol delivers projects around homelessness that engage a community of volunteers, bringing people together to make change.
Like St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity, Caring in Bristol strives to create a society where everyone has a home and works hard to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.
With your help, they will be able to support more young people experiencing homelessness in Bristol, through their ambitious “Project Z”.
Akt is a UK homeless charity in the North-West of England that supports LGBTQ+ young people aged 16-25 who are facing or experiencing homelessness or are living in a hostile environment.
Not only do they support individuals into safe homes, but the charity also ensures young people have access to employment, education or training in a welcoming and open environment that celebrates LGBTQ+ identities.
Thanks to your support, our funding will help their work in Manchester and the North-West of England with the Trans Pathway Project. This helps provide young people who identify as trans the support they need to access accommodation, allowing them to feel safe and end their homelessness.
A leading UK homeless charity specialising in healthcare, Pathway works with partners to create improved models of care for people experiencing homelessness.
Their purpose is to improve the health and wellbeing of people experiencing homelessness by developing and sharing the best models of care, increasing specialist skills of workers in healthcare, influencing policy and reducing stigma in healthcare against people experiencing multiple exclusion.
Thanks to your support, they will be able to provide the legal advice needed in securing more stable outcomes for our patients and help improve even more lives across the UK.
A leading independent Welsh children’s charity working with some of the most vulnerable and marginalised children, young people, and families in Wales.
TGP Cymru helps individuals access appropriate services in health, education, and social care – TGP Cymru works tirelessly to ensure everyone has a voice to have a say in their future.
With your support, they will continue to support the young people across North Wales that do not have a safe place to call home.
Legal Services Agency (LSA)
LSA are a Scottish law centre and charity committed to defending legal rights and using the law to effect social change.
Believing that everyone is entitled to specialist legal advice when they need it, LSA works to prevent homelessness alongside other valuable services.
Thanks to your generous donations, our funding will help their services focus on early intervention, and preventing homelessness for people who have been in contact with the criminal justice system.
A leading social justice charity across the island of Ireland that speaks up for and supports more than 21,000 children, young people, individuals, and families each year to overcome challenges, empower positive change and support family unity.
Your support will help fund their work offering counselling to vulnerable people, who often are unable to access many mainstream services due to having been engaged within the criminal justice system.
In the heart of London, you help to provide funding to The Connection at St Martin’s. The Connection is a London homeless charity that enables people sleeping rough on the capital’s streets to find a place to live.
The Frontline Network
Tackling homelessness would be impossible without dedicated staff at the frontline, and by supporting them in their work, we can strengthen the support they provide.
To achieve this, St Martin’s Charity has created a national network which connects individuals and workers from charities across the UK, and which gives them the resources and respect they need to do their jobs effectively.
It enables these professionals to share evidence and ideas, to collaborate, and to take the lead from other, successful work. It provides them with meaningful opportunities for training, and new ways to improve the support they offer. It allows us to share their experiences and knowledge around homelessness support with government, and with the people taking national decisions on this vital humanitarian issue.
What’s more, the network allows us to advocate on behalf of these workers, amplifying their voice to government and sharing their hard-won professional knowledge with those taking policy decisions around homelessness, at both regional and national levels.
Because when the workforce is strong, the support offered to people experiencing homelessness will be strong. And that will enable many more people in the UK to find and keep a home.
Our Frontline Network in Blackpool
Streetlife Trust runs the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Frontline Network, which offers support to frontline workers who work with people experiencing homelessness in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.
The Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Frontline Network facilitates quarterly events, which provide a regular opportunity to bring together frontline workers to network, share expertise, and experience, and link to decision-makers.
Our Frontline Network in Brighton
Justlife runs the Brighton and Hove Frontline Network, which offers support to frontline workers who work with people experiencing homelessness in Brighton and Hove.
The Brighton and Hove Frontline Network facilitates quarterly events, which provide a regular opportunity to bring together frontline workers in the Brighton and Hove area to network, share expertise, and experience, and link to decision-makers.
Our Frontline Network in Coventry
Coventry Citizens Advice run the Coventry Frontline Network, which offers support to frontline workers who work with people experiencing homelessness in Coventry and beyond.
The Coventry Frontline Network facilitates quarterly events, which provide a regular opportunity to bring together frontline workers in the Coventry area to network, share expertise, and experience, and link to decision-makers.
Our Frontline Network in Leicester
The Frontline Network has been running a local network for frontline staff and volunteers in Leicester. The local network ran meetings and training on areas that frontline staff have said would be beneficial to them in their roles.
Previous events have looked at various themes including, ‘Accessing Mental Health Support for Service Users’ and ‘Using a Personal, Transitional Service’. We are currently reviewing the format of this local network to ensure we can offer the most opportunities to the most frontline workers. This network is run by us directly as opposed to a partner.
Our Frontline Network in North Yorkshire
Basis Yorkshire, Together Women and Leeds Women’s Aid are facilitating the Leeds Women’s Homelessness and Housing Frontline Network. This is a thematic network supporting women experiencing homelessness.
With this funding, the Leeds Women’s Homelessness and Housing Frontline Network will build on its current network of Frontline Practitioners supporting women who require intensive support in Leeds.
This is a much-needed Forum given the lack of gendered focus and initiatives on homelessness and will include increased attention on hidden homelessness, Domestic and Sexual Violence and other traumatic experiences more often experienced by women.
In addition to homelessness charities, it will ensure specialist agencies such as those supporting sex workers, migrant women (particularly those with no recourse to public funds), harm reduction agencies, and criminal justice, are invited to contribute, given the strong link between these issues and homelessness.
Our Frontline Network in South Yorkshire
In September 2021, we were delighted to announce a new partnership with Depaul who will take on facilitating our South Yorkshire Frontline Network.
The network will continue to bring together frontline staff working in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley; to network, share experience and link their voices to decision-makers.
Event themes will be informed by members of the South Yorkshire Frontline Network and each event will have a balance of facilitation and participation, with time for speakers and training, followed by time for networking.
Through our Frontline Network, you ensure that the best quality support is always on offer. You help specialist workers and organisations across the UK to access new funding, share expertise and find new and innovative ways of providing meaningful support for anyone experiencing homelessness.
Our Frontline Network in Wales
Cymorth Cymru run the Wales Frontline Network, which offers support to frontline workers who work with people experiencing homelessness across Wales.
The Wales Frontline Network will facilitate quarterly events, which provide a regular opportunity to bring together frontline workers throughout Wales to network, share expertise and experience, and link to decision-makers.
Cymorth Cymru is the representative body for providers of homelessness, housing and support services in Wales.
Our Frontline Network in Scotland
Cyrenians run the Scottish Frontline Network, which offers support to frontline workers who work with people experiencing homelessness across Scotland.
The Scottish Frontline Network facilitates quarterly events, which provide a regular opportunity to bring together frontline workers in Scotland to network, share expertise, and experience, and link to decision-makers.
As part of the Scottish Frontline Network, we fund a project called All in for Change, an inclusive programme using a collaborative effort to end homelessness in Scotland. All in for Change believe that ”Scotland will only develop and deliver the best policies to end homelessness when people with personal and professional experience are involved.”
It’s driven by a Change Team of people from across Scotland – experts in what homelessness looks like on the ground, for those most affected by it.
The team, made up of Change Leads, brings together diverse knowledge from people with recent experience of homelessness and those working in a frontline role.
The programme is led by three organisations: Cyrenians, Homeless Network Scotland and Scottish Community Development Centre. Each brings different expertise to help deliver the work, but the programme is underpinned by the principle of co-production.
Our Frontline Network in Northern Ireland
Homeless Connect facilitates our first Frontline Network in Northern Ireland.
This will offer a regional network that will be led by frontline workers and designed around their needs. Homeless Connect will carry out an initial consultation which will be used to inform their Network events for the first year.
Ongoing consultations will also ensure that the network will continue to meet the needs of frontline workers. Since 1983 Homeless Connect has been tackling homelessness by acting as an umbrella body for organisations working with people who find themselves homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless. We support the sector by helping to shape government policy, providing quality training and taking on the preventable causes of homelessness.
The Vicar’s Relief Fund
Across the UK, you help us provide financial support so that more people can find and keep a place to live.
Because many financial barriers can prevent someone from securing accommodation and we regularly hear from people who can’t afford to pay costs such as an expensive, upfront rental deposit.
So our grants are designed to help. They’re either given directly to individuals, or through frontline workers who can apply on behalf of the people they’re supporting. We’ve established a fast and effective process so that grants are given as quickly as possible, and this funding can transform a person’s circumstances quickly, effectively and often in a matter of days.
Our stories: Jake
Jake* was living in Newcastle close to his two daughters when he lost his job.
Subsequently, he lost his flat and had to move to Wales to live with his sister.
Being away from his daughters caused Jake a significant amount of stress and was keen to find his feet again.
“I was under a lot of stress because of everything going on, obviously I had lost my job, I didn’t have a place to live. I have two daughters up in Newcastle and being away from them – it was a really difficult time for me.”
Jake was put in touch with Nacro, a charity that helps adults and young people through housing, education and justice services.
His support worker then applied to the Vicar’s Relief Fund for a grant to secure him a place to live. Jake now has a stable place to live, and he’s feeling much more positive.
“That’s what gave me the boost to be where I am now, and be in the position of knowing where I’m going again in life. I’ve got a stable job now and I’ve got stable accommodation again, so it’s really helped me to rebuild my life back up.”
*Please note names may have been changed to protect their privacy.
Make a homeless charity donation
If you’d like to help people who are at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness, you can make a donation online today.
Choose from a regular gift or a one-off donation, based on the amount you’d like to give.