Jane and her family stayed at one of our centres for families who are homeless. Jane is carer for her disabled husband and they have 4 children.
Becoming homeless is a difficult time for any family and Sue, our Children & Young Persons Worker, is there to help make things easier. Sue’s project is funded by Children in Need and she has helped hundreds of children and young people through their experience of homelessness.
Jane explains how it benefited her family, “Sue did so much to help us through a tough time. She helped find a local primary school for my girls, and travel passes so my older two could stay at their secondary school in north Liverpool. She also helped my eldest son get a work placement in the hospital as he’s interested in working there in the future.
During the school holidays Sue keeps all the children busy. Most of the families have very little money but Sue arranged days out, gym passes and activities in the centre itself. It’s a great way for the families to get to know each other too.
The staff at the family centre helped us to find a lovely new home in an area we wanted to live. But it was an hour long bus journey from my daughters’ school so we wanted to find somewhere closer. Sue helped us all the way, even coming with me to the appeal, which we won. Sue kept in touch after we left the hostel continuing to help us and to check that the kids were all settled in.
We're home now but had so many obstacles to face when we became homeless and we couldn’t have managed without Sue and all her support.”
Children in Need funding for the Children & Young Persons Project over the last 3 years has seen us support 426 children who were experiencing homelessness. Working directly with the children we have been able to improve access to education and learning, mental & physical wellbeing and better connection into the community.
David has taken part in every one our of 5 sleepout events - here he explains why:
It was always a dream to have a place in town and when I eventually moved into a flat in Liverpool City Centre, it became extremely evident how bad the homeless situation was. I would walk past people every day on the way to and from work and I’d see the same faces day and night. People would be bedding down for the night on the street as I was heading to bed and they’d still be there in the morning when I woke. I knew I wanted to help and at first just used to stop and offer food, drink and conversation. I wanted to do more so Googled how to help; it was then I came across The Whitechapel Centre. I started supporting with bucket collections before and after some matches but when I saw on social media about the Liverpool Sleepout and thought I’d give it a go.
What’s the best part of the event?
I take the whole event quite seriously so just turn up with my Sleeping bag just two pieces of cardboard and plastic sheeting. I like the challenge of trying to build my little shelter trying to make it as waterproof and windproof as I can. After having a little chat to my new neighbours and listening to the entertainment at 10pm, I climb into my shelter and that’s me for the night. Will I make it to the morning? Last year I really wasn’t sure as the tail end of storm Callum was still with us. I was drenched and up pretty early in the morning. Every previous year I had taken part had been dry and it was just a completely different experience. At the end of it I knew could go home have a hot shower and even go back to bed! I felt like I had earnt the money donated by my friends and family and it certainly was a challenge.
Having learnt more about The Whitechapel Centre and the amount of support they can offer, I wanted to support them. Often there are mental health issues underlying someone’s homelessness. I’m not afraid to share I’ve had my own mental health struggles in the past but I am lucky to have a support network around me. Mental health can have a huge impact on those who are or will become homeless, yet they may not have the people and resources to lean on when they need it most. Homelessness can really happen to anyone – Anyone is ANYONE.