Changing the story of homelessness: Hopestead celebrates its first birthday
Everyone deserves a place to call home, but sadly nearly 17,000 people across the East of England are currently experiencing homelessness, with thousands more at risk of homelessness.
Sunday 10 October marks not only World Homelessness Day, but the first birthday of Hopestead; our charity dedicated to ending homelessness in the East of England. Despite a challenging backdrop, Hopestead has achieved an incredible amount in its first year.
It’s drive-in cinema launch event ‘Drive in for Hope’ in October 2020 helped to increase awareness of homelessness and raise around £4,000 for those who needed it most. But whilst Hopestead officially launched in October, it began its charitable initiatives earlier than expected to provide much needed support during Covid-19.
Hopestead’s Coronavirus Assist Initiative facilitated £350,000 of support to over 850 Flagship Group tenants who were experiencing hardship as a direct result of the pandemic.
Marie-Claire Delbrouque, CEO of Hopestead, said: “We knew that the Covid-19 pandemic had the potential to further increase homelessness and would cause a lot of fear, uncertainty and anxiety among tenants. Through our Coronavirus Assist Initiative we were able to provide financial and welfare support to Flagship tenants at a time when they needed it most.”
During the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, 130,000 households in England were made homeless. More needs to be done. Since launching, Hopestead has been working with its partners to help break the cycle of homelessness and give people the connections to build relationships, solve problems and try new things.
The charity is committed to tackling the causes and impacts of homelessness and over the past year has created partnerships with 34 charities and organisations who share that same vision.
One year on and Hopestead has raised over £11,000 directly for individuals experiencing homelessness and through its Hope Funds initiative, has awarded over £96,000 of funding to 11 local charities working to alleviate homelessness in the East. The charity has also launched an incentivised savings scheme to empower individuals to save money and build financial resilience.
On top of this, as part of its Hope Essentials programme, Hopestead has so far gifted 46 white goods items to tenants who are unable to afford the everyday essentials they need.
Marie-Claire added: "Homelessness isn’t just about providing homes, it’s about tackling the causes of homelessness and building long term, sustainable solutions so that we can make sure it doesn’t happen again.
"Despite such a challenging backdrop, Hopestead has been able to achieve much more than we'd ever hoped in its first year. I am incredibly proud of the team and the hard work they have put in to help make a real difference and ensure everyone has a place to call home.”
To find out more about Hopestead and how you can get involved please visit: https://www.hopestead.org/