Your support is a lifeline for women with nowhere to turn

Women are trapped in dangerous situations

In 2023, more than half of applications to our emergency Vicar’s Relief Fund were on behalf of women, many of whom are invisible to the system. Trapped in unsafe, abusive and often exploitative housing with violent perpetrators, they are either financially, emotionally or practically unable to extricate themselves on their own.

And it’s only getting worse

Relentless funding cuts have seen many gendered spaces and facilities forced to shut their doors in recent years, leaving thousands of women – and often their children – feeling that they have nowhere to turn. The bleak alternatives to sheltering in place – rough sleeping and mixed-gender hostels, for example – don’t feel like an option for most women, who fear exchanging one form of danger and violence for another. So the epidemic of hidden homelessness continues to spread.

But the St Martin’s Charity community is stepping in…

Vicar's Relief Fund

As part of their work towards a world that is free of domestic abuse victimising women and girls, West Mercia Women’s Aid is one of several organisations that relies heavily upon the Vicar’s Relief Fund. The emergency grants enable them to act quickly to remove women from all kinds of unsafe environments, including situations of physical, emotional, and financial abuse.

Training Fund

Evie’s team at The Nelson’s Trust in Bristol works specifically with women experiencing or at risk of homelessness, many of whom are rough sleeping. A crucial aspect of the support they offer is to speak with the local council to get women housed. Which is why they applied for a Training Fund grant from St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity to allow them to attend Domestic Abuse and Housing training provided by Shelter.

The Connection

St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity funds The Connection at St Martin’s, to help people experiencing homelessness in London to transition from the streets and resettle in safe, secure homes. As part of that work, every Wednesday morning, The Connection’s centre is opened only to those who identify as women, offering a protected space for those who may not otherwise feel safe to use their services.

Frontline Network

The Leeds Women’s Homelessness and Housing Frontline Network brings together frontline workers providing intensive support to women in the city. It is a much-needed forum, given the increasing lack of initiatives to support women in homelessness. The Network focuses especially on hidden homelessness, domestic and sexual violence and other traumatic experiences more often experienced by women.

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