Sometimes homelessness can feel like the most complex thing around. Otherwise wouldn’t we have ended it ages ago? It may be complex, but there are some simple steps you can take to help.
We all know there’s an ongoing housing crisis but anyone from the sector will also tell you that houses alone don’t end homelessness. There are personal and social factors as well as economic and structural ones too. If you address one and not the others the solution might not be sustainable. It is one of those ‘thorny’ issues needing one of those ‘systemic’ solutions.
This is all undoubtedly true. But where does this leave those who see homelessness as a growing part of their daily lives around London and aren’t going to read reports and think about the best way to fund in a system. Whether it is through the eyes of a commuter, employee of a company or citizen of this city we call home we will all have wondered what we can do to play our part in ending homelessness.
It’s a question we are regularly asked by visitors to our centre too. We are fortunate to have such a vast community that support our work with young people who are experiencing homelessness, indeed we wouldn’t be able to open our doors without the generosity of the organisations and individuals that donate to us. But all too often people want to do more and don’t know what. Many have been told that it is best to give to a charity than an individual, most admit that they don’t fully understand the complexities of the situation. We're often told – “of course we will donate, but what else might we do?”
So for ten days in October, in the build up to World Homeless Day on October 10th, New Horizon Youth Centre and a growing number of organisations in our vicinity are taking over Kings Cross and taking on youth homelessness. Every year thousands of young people become homeless in London through no fault of their own and over 1000 of them will end up coming through our centre doors for support. In response to this we are asking the businesses and residents of Camden to come together for Kings Cross vs Youth Homelessness and either Do, Discuss or Donate.
If you have ever thought that ending homelessness was complicated then you can join a growing number of organisations - from Renaissance to the Rotunda and Autotrader to Argent – that are taking one of the following simple steps to play their part and ensure that young people’s potential has a home.
We know that we will not be able to end youth homelessness during the takeover, but we hope that by coming together we can begin to understand how in time we might. If you want to play your part then get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org and stay tuned to the 10 Day Takeover, @nhyouthcentre and #NHYCTakeover during October.
If you want to get in touch or share your thoughts just use the hashtag #NHYC