The purpose of #WorldHomelessDay is to draw attention to people who experience homelessness across the world. It encourages us think about what they need and how we can help individually and together to end homelessness.
Read more from Tony Stacey, our Chief Executive about the work that Homes for Cathy has done and is continuing to do to end homelessness once and for all.
When I was asked if SYHA would sign up to the new campaigning group, Homes for Cathy, I didn’t hesitate. Our association was set up at the time of growing public concern about the lack of a safety net for people facing homelessness. The issue dominated the front pages and led to the creation of both SHELTER and Crisis at Christmas.
At the time I got the call, the 50th anniversary of the showing of Cathy Come Home on the BBC Wednesday play was round the corner. Homes for Cathy both celebrates the work that social housing organisations have done to tackle homelessness and draws attention to the continuing scandal of the 6th richest country in the world not being able to house all its citizens.
“At SYHA we have continuously looked for ways to have greater impact on homelessness.”
All of this happened 3 years ago, and Homes for Cathy is still going strong. We now have over 100 members. We have not stood still. We have measured progress against 9 commitments that were developed in collaboration with CRISIS.
At SYHA we have continuously looked for ways to have greater impact on homelessness. This has ranged from reducing the number of people we have evicted as a result of rent arrears to expanding our Housing First services.
Last year’s developments for SYHA have included the expansion of furnished tenancies (so often we offer homes to people who have nothing) and the development of an offer of accommodation to people who have no recourse to public funds. The latter is a small project on which we are working in partnership with local charity, Assist. We also expect to work with local authorities to support refugees from the disaster in Afghanistan.