Friday 19 July 2024
23 C
Nottingham

Notts charity launches Winter Appeal to prevent more people become becoming homeless during cost-of-living crisis

Nottingham-based homelessness charity Emmanuel House Support Centre has launched its Winter Appeal to raise vital funds to help homeless and vulnerable people over winter.

The charity is facing an increase in demand, rising running costs and the anticipated ‘cost-of-giving’ crisis, which will have far reaching affects for the charity and the beneficiaries it supports.

Download Emmanuel House’s cost-of-living crisis impact report here

 

Denis Tully, CEO at Emmanuel House, said:

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“It’s clear from what people are telling us that the cost-of-living crisis is impacting on the lives of our beneficiaries, particularly people at risk of homelessness.

“This is due to increasing energy bills, rising rents, no-fault evictions and escalating food costs. The impact of the cost-of-living crisis is beginning to show and we need the community’s help to prevent more people from becoming homeless.

A still from Emmanuel Houses short film Lone scaled 

“Whatever the cost of this crisis, Emmanuel House will continue to provide support for people who need it.

“We’re continuing to meet basic human needs, by providing shelter, food, warmth, hot showers, clothes, emotional support, practical advice and supporting people into accommodation and out of homelessness.”

In the midst of uncertainty, can you help Emmanuel House support people in crisis over winter?

 

What is changing at Emmanuel House?

The number of new registrations across the organisation is rising, with more people coming to Emmanuel House for the first time. In April 2022, Emmanuel House had 24 new registrations. In October 2022, a further 49 people registered with the charity – an increase of over 100%.

The charity is seeing an increase in costs to run the support centre, with daily running costs now up to £1500. In April 2023, Emmanuel House is expecting its utilities to drastically go up with the energy price increase.

How is this impacting beneficiaries?

 

  • More hot meals are being served to people who find themselves homeless. Between 1st July 2022 and 30th Sep 2022, Emmanuel House served 486 meals, an increase of 46% compared to the previous quarter.
  • More food parcels are being given to people staying in emergency accommodation, such as hotels, and more food bank vouchers are being given out.
  • Emmanuel House’s Winter Shelter is offering short-term emergency accommodation for more people than last year. In 2021-2022, the Winter Shelter supported up to 24 people and in 2022-2023, it’s providing three additional bed spaces per night.
  • Emmanuel House is providing short-term emergency accommodation for women who are homeless and fleeing domestic violence.
  • Families who have been forced to leave tenancies and have nowhere else to go are presenting at Emmanuel House on average 2-3 times a week. While it’s important to note that Emmanuel House isn’t able to provide support for families, it is able to signpost people to relevant agencies in emergency situations.
  • Our Tenancy Support Workers are giving a lot of advice about energy consumption and advocating for their clients, spending hours on the phone to energy providers. Many people are having problems with their energy rebates, which our support workers are having to rectify.

Why is this happening?

 

Denis added: “The current cost-of-living crisis combined with existing issues such as rising rents, low wages and a lack of affordable housing have created even further setbacks for people who were already struggling. With a lack of social housing, more people are being forced into living in the private-rented sector, for which landlords are charging record-high rent.

 

  • People are having to choose energy over food. It’s not too difficult to see a scenario where people are living in the twilight zone – those who are able to pay rent and bills but can’t stretch to pay for food.
  • There are threats of heavy debt and arrears.
  • There is a rise in ‘no-fault’ evictions. Low-income households are in crisis. Often with nowhere else to go, they seek places like Emmanuel House or are put in emergency accommodation such as a hotel.
  • Rising rent costs are making rent unaffordable for many of our beneficiaries. Many have no choice but to be in rent arrears, which is forcing people into or returning to homelessness.”

 

Cost-of-giving crisis

 

Rosie Needham-Smith, Marketing and Fundraising Officer at Emmanuel House, said: “What does the current economic climate mean for a charity that relies on donations from individuals, businesses and groups? We receive no statutory funding for our core costs, so we rely on financial donations and giving in-kind to help us provide our service.

“Research published by Charities Aid Foundation showed that between January and April 2022, an estimated 4.9 million fewer people said they donated to charity, when compared to the same months in 2019.

“Because of this ‘cost-of-giving crisis’ we’re anticipating less people will be able to set up regular financial donations, we’ll receive less food and clothes donations and less people will be spending money at fundraising events, which simply haven’t recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

How can you help?

Rosie added: “Financial donations to our Winter Appeal will contribute to the running of our core services in 2023. Supporters can make donations online or text WINTER to 70450 to donate £5.

“If you have the means to set up a monthly donation to Emmanuel House, direct debits of any amount provide financial stability and help us predict potential shortfalls in income. Financial resilience is essential for our survival.

How to support Emmanuel House without spending money

 

“We recognise in these times that it can be more difficult to donate financially and there are many ways people can contribute to ending homelessness without spending money.

 

Donating food and clothes

If you don’t have the means to make a financial donation, you can support our work by donating second-hand clothes or unwanted food. There is a list on our website for everything we need.

 

Donate time and volunteer

“If you don’t have the means to donate items, you can always volunteer your time.  Volunteering in our charity shop is not just about giving time, but is a way of actively bringing in a significant amount of money to the charity. The shop can make up to £150 a day, which goes directly to the charity. Supporters can visit our volunteering page to make an enquiry.

Spread the word

“Raising awareness of the work we are doing is hugely important to us. Talk to your friends and families, have conversations with colleagues and remember us when discussing community events with local groups.

Remember Gift Aid

 

“Literally every penny counts. If you’re a UK tax payer and are making a financial donation, we can claim 25% of your donation back from the government. It’s free money – no cost to you or to us. Just remember to tick the Gift Aid box when you’re filling out our online donation form.”

Winter Appeal 22 23 MAIN A3 Poster

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