Read the latest updates from our campaigning and influencing work, and find out what you are helping us to achieve.
The Homelessness Reduction Bill has passed through the House of Lords
This morning, the Homelessness Reduction Bill passed through the Lords with no amendments. This is great news, and means this piece of potentially life-changing legislation is one step away from becoming law. The Bill should receive Royal Assent very soon. Thank you to each and every one of our Stop the Scandal campaigners who emailed their MP, or share our campaigning actions on social media.
Find out more about the contents of the Bill here.
Great news! The Homelessness Reduction Bill has passed its second reading debate in the Lords
Bob Blackman MP's bill passed through the House of Lords unopposed this morning, and will now be subject to (more) pre-legislative scrutiny at Committee stage.
Theresa May has responded to our Stop the Scandal letter
The Prime Minister has responded to our Stop the Scandal campaign letter that we delivered last Autumn. Over 15,000 of you signed it, backing our calls for a new national rough sleeping strategy that focuses on mental health support, and for changes to the law to ensure that fewer people end up stuck sleeping rough.
In her response, Theresa May acknowledged the outreach work that St Mungo’s does, and praised the contents of our Stop the Scandal reports, which you can find here.
Keen to ‘assure supporters of St Mungo’s that tackling homelessness is a priority for this Government’, the letter goes on to say that ministers in key departments are looking at ‘what can be done to ensure that support is available for homeless people with poor mental health.’
The Homelessness Reduction Bill passes its third reading
The House of Commons has just passed the Homelessness Reduction Bill, which is great news. The Bill will be debated in the House of Lords in due course, but we are pleased that MPs have voted in favour of this potentially life-saving piece of draft legislation. We also welcome the announcement of additional funding from the Minister for Local Government, Marcus Jones MP, and look forward to seeing how the Bill progresses.
The Bill would not have got to this stage without your support. We want to extend a big thank you to St Mungo's campaigners, who've been instrumental in getting their MPs to back the Bill.
Clients from St Mungo's ask Jeremy Hunt MP for a meeting
Off the back of the latest Stop the Scandal report, St Mungo's clients have written to Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, to ask for a face-to-face meeting to talk about their experiences of sleeping rough with a mental health problem, and the urgent need for investment into specialist mental health services.
St Mungo's launch client-led report into mental health services for people sleeping rough
Stop the Scandal: the case for action on mental health and rough sleeping draws from interviews with St Mungo's clients and data obtained from Freedom of Information requests submitted to commissioners in areas where there are 10 or more people sleeping rough on any given night.
Introduced by our client representative group, Outside In, the report highlights how only 32% of areas with high levels of rough sleeping have any kind of mental health service that targets people sleeping rough.
St Mungo's launched the report at an event in Parliament, where ministers, shadow ministers and MPs had the chance to meet with our clients, staff and partners across the sector to talk about our findings and our call for investment into specialist mental health services for people who are street homeless.
MPs back ‘once in a generation’ change to homelessness law
The Homelessness Reduction Bill received its second reading in Parliament today, with MPs deciding unanimously that it should pass to committee stage, meaning it is one step closer to becoming law.
Dominic Williamson, Executive Director of Strategy and Policy at St Mungo’s, said:
“We congratulate MPs and the government for supporting this once in a generation opportunity to reduce homelessness and rough sleeping. We also welcome the government’s commitment to providing new funding to councils to support the implementation of the legislation announced today by Local Government Minister Marcus Jones.
“I would like to thank almost 4,000 St Mungo’s campaigners who contacted their MP to ask them to attend the debate and support the Bill.
We look forward to working with MPs and the government to ensure the Bill continues to progress through Parliament and is implemented quickly and effectively."
Government announces support for Homelessness Reduction Bill
Responding to the announcement by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid that the government will be supporting the Homelessness Reduction Bill, Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said:
“This is very welcome news."
“The Homelessness Reduction Bill is a major step towards ensuring people get the help they need to prevent or tackle their homelessness. It will fill a gap in the law that has meant that many people little or no help to avoid the dangers of sleeping rough."
"Government support for the Bill is a real boost to everyone who has worked and campaigned tirelessly to improve the current homelessness legislation. This includes St Mungo's clients who have bravely shared their stories of homelessness to help others avoid the same devastating experience."
"We look forward to working with the government to ensure the Bill successfully passes into law and is implemented quickly and effectively. MPs still have a critical role to play: unless they attend the second reading debate on Friday (28 October) and support the Bill it could still be blocked. We urge MPs not to miss this once in a generation opportunity to reduce homelessness and rough sleeping."
"As the Prime Minister recognised last week, greater efforts are needed to tackle homelessness and end rough sleeping. Reform to legislation and the recently announced funding programmes are major steps in what we hope will be a long term commitment from the government to stop the scandal of people sleeping on our streets for good.”
With less than four days until the vital second reading, please ask your MP to back the Bill
St Mungo's release new report, Nowhere safe to stay
St Mungo's has undertaken new research that has revealed that 129 rough sleepers died in London since 2010 – that's an average of one rough sleeper dying every fortnight – while some people, shockingly, were told by councils that they had to sleep rough to access support. Read our report here.
St Mungo's clients and campaigners attend a mass lobby for the Homelessness Reduction Bill
Several St Mungo's clients joined forces with campaigners from across the sector to attend a mass lobby of MPs in Parliament. Clients were encouraged to write to their MP to request a meeting on the day to talk to them about the Homelessness Reduction Bill. Hundreds of people attended, and the number of MPs who have said they will be attending the second reading of the Bill on 28 October has increased as a result. Well done to everyone involved!
PM announces £40m funding for homelessness prevention
Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a £40m funding package to prevent and tackle homelessness. Speaking in an interview today, the Prime Minister said that the Government would be putting ‘prevention at the heart of its approach’ to tackling homelessness.
St Mungo's Chief Executive, Howard Sinclair, said: “We welcome this announcement and the Prime Minister’s pledge for a coordinated approach to ensuring that no-one has to sleep rough on our streets.
We hope this is the first step to a new and coherent national strategy and approach to make sure nobody is turned away when they have nowhere safe to stay, no matter where they are in the country, and that all rough sleepers can access the support they need.”
Report by CLG Select Committee on Homelessness supportive of Homelessness Reduction Bill
Today, the cross-party CLG Select Committee on Homelessness released a report supporting the Homelessness Reduction Bill, a Private Member's Bill introduced by Conservative MP for Harrow East, Bob Blackman. The Bill is due for its second reading on Friday 28 October, when it will be debated and voted on in the House of Commons. Make sure your MP attends.
You can read the CLG Select Committee report here.
15,000 signatures! THANK YOU
Today is World Homelessness and World Mental Health Day, so we thought today would be an appropriate time to deliver our letter to the Prime Minister. Over 15,000 of you joined our call for a new national rough sleeping strategy, one that delivers mental health advice and support to people sleeping rough or at risk of street homelessness. We cannot thank you enough for all of your support over the last few months. Time will tell as to what Theresa May's response will be. Stay tuned.
Ahead of World Mental Health and World Homelessness Day, over 200 St Mungo's staff, clients, and campaigners gathered in a park in east London to break the world record for longest line of sleeping bags. With less than three days to go until we hand in our letter to Theresa May, we wanted to do something different to raise awareness of the shocking rise in rough sleeping, and to give our Stop the Scandal campaign a boost. We certainly did that. Take a look at the photos from today on Facebook.
10,000 signatures - thank you!
With 3 weeks until we take our open letter calling for a new national rough sleeping strategy to Downing Street, we have beaten our target of 10,000 signatures. This is great news, but we must do better - the more people who sign the letter, the more likely it is that the Government will respond.
Rough sleeping has more than doubled since 2010 and four in 10 people who sleep rough have a mental health problem. It's time for the Government to act.
If you have already signed the letter, THANK YOU!
If you haven't - please show your support and SIGN HERE >>> mungos.org/stopthescandal
St Mungo's give evidence to support Homelessness Reduction Bill
Dominic Williamson, our Executive Director of Strategy and Policy, gave evidence at the Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry into the Homelessness Reduction Bil. It was broadcast online, and you can watch it now.
St Mungo's to give evidence to CLG inquiry into Homelessness Reduction Bill next week
On Monday 5 September, Executive Director of Strategy and Policy at St Mungo's, Dominic Williamson, will represent our clients, services and supporters at a pre-legislative inquiry into the Homelessness Reduction Bill set up by the Communities and Local Government Committee.
The Committee will be using this session to thoroughly scrutinise the Bill, which you can read here.
Watch the session live on Parliament TV (Monday 5 September 4 - 5pm)
Charities unite in a call for change to homelessness law - an open letter
Homelessness is one of the great social injustices of our time, and parliament now has an historic opportunity to do more to tackle it. This week an influential group of MPs published the results of a wide ranging inquiry into homelessness, and we urge the Government and MPs of all political persuasions to listen to its recommendations.
Crucially, the Select Committee has agreed to scrutinise and endorse the Homelessness Reduction Bill put forward by Bob Blackman MP, which could transform the help available to homeless people. There is now a clear cross-party consensus that if we’re to end homelessness then we need a change in the law, backed by improvements to the availability of stable and affordable homes, so that all homeless people can get the support they need.
With Theresa May pledging to make Britain a country that works for everyone, we urge the Government to show its commitment by supporting the bill and call on all MPs to back it during its critical second reading in October.
Mick Clarke, Chief Executive, The Passage
Alison Gelder, Chief Executive, Housing Justice
Denise Hatton, Chief Executive, YMCA England
Rick Henderson, Chief Executive, Homeless Link
Christina Marriott, Chief Executive, Revolving Doors
Seyi Obakin, Chief Executive, Centrepoint
Campbell Robb, Chief Executive, Shelter
Liz Rutherfoord, Chief Executive, Single Homeless Project
Tim Sigsworth, Chief Executive, Albert Kennedy Trust
Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive, St Mungo’s
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive, Crisis
Good news! Bob Blackman MP introduces new homelessness bill
As part of our Stop the Scandal campaign, St Mungo's has been calling for changes to homelessness legislation in England, and we are delighted that Conservative MP Bob Blackman introduced the Homelessness Reduction Bill today.
The announcement of the new Bill comes on the same day as new figures published by the Greater London Authority (GLA) show a seven per cent rise in rough sleeping in London during 2015-16. A total of 8,096 people were seen rough sleeping across London during the last year.
St Mungo’s is urging all MPs to get behind the Bill, calling it “a momentous opportunity” to improve the current legislation to prevent and tackle homelessness in England more effectively at a time when rough sleeping is continuing to rise. You can read our press release here.
MPs selected to bring forward draft laws to the House
Every year, a limited number of MPs are selected at random to bring forward a Bill of their choice. This is a great opportunity to lobby for new laws, or changes to existing legislation.
As part of our Stop the Scandal campaign, St Mungo's is calling for changes to existing homelessness legislation in England, and we're joining forces with other homelessness charities to put the pressure on the MPs selected to propose new legislation, based on a review undertaken by experts from across the sector.
Last year, rough sleeping in England rose by 30%. We're asking our supporters to put the pressure on MPs selected to use their selection to change a system that is failing so many people. Can you help?
New report calls for changes to existing homelessness legislation
Yesterday, homelessness charities including St Mungo's joined forces to call for changes to outdated homelessness legislation that is failing to address the dramatic rise in rough sleeping. Find out more here.
Our Stop the Scandal campaign reaches 5000 signatures
In under two weeks, our Stop the Scandal letter has already had 5000 signatures.
St Mungo's launches the Stop the Scandal campaign and report
As new government statistics show a 30% increase in rough sleeping across England, St Mungo's launched a campaign calling on the Prime Minister David Cameron to stop the scandal of people left sleeping rough with mental health problems. Our latest report shows that 4 in 10 people sleeping rough have a mental health problem, a dangerous situation that ruins lives. That's why we're demanding urgent action now. Find out more and sign
Health and Wellbeing Boards continue to sign the Homeless Health charter
We're pleased to announce that Cheshire West and Chester have made a formal pledge to meet the needs of homeless people by signing up to the St Mungo's Charter for Homeless Health. They are the 41st Health and Wellbeing Board to sign the charter which asks health leaders to tackle health inequalities affecting homeless people and to promote partnership working between key organisations.
St Mungo's joins other homeless charities to launch Lead London Home
The London Mayor has the budget and power to tackle homelessness. That's why St Mungo's campaigners have joined with over 20 other homeless charities to call on the next London Mayor to pledge to do more to tackle homelessness in the city in the Lead London Home campaign. Find out more and sign
Homelessness included in 2016-17 NHS mandate
We recently learned that homelessness has been mentioned in the NHS mandate for 2016-17. It's a small but important step forward on homeless health - an issue we've been campaigning on over the past year with the help of our brilliant supporters.
The mandate to NHS England outlines the government's objectives for NHS England for the next year. Under Objective 6 on improving out-of-hospital care, it states:
"We expect NHS England to strive to reduce the health gap between people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and autism and the population as a whole, and support them to live full, healthy and independent lives. This will require great strides in improving care and outcomes through prevention, early intervention and improved access to integrated services to ensure physical health needs are addressed too. In particular, vulnerable children, homeless people, veterans and people in places of detention should receive high quality, integrated services that meet their health needs" [underline added].
You can read the full document here.
39 Health and Wellbeing Boards
Today we received the latest commitment to our Homeless Health Charter, as Wirral Health and Wellbeing Board become the 39th board to sign up!
The boards that have signed so far include: Bath and North East Somerset, Blackburn with Darwen, Birmingham, Bradford, Brent, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Camden, Cheshire West & Chester, Cornwall, Coventry, Durham, Ealing, Essex, Gateshead, Greenwich, Halton, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hampshire, Haringey, Herefordshire, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth, Leeds, Leicester, Lewisham, Luton, Merton, Newcastle, Rochdale, Sheffield, Tameside, Telford and Wrekin, Walsall, Waltham Forest, Wigan, Wirral and Wokingham.
Of course, signing the Charter is just a first step - we're looking forward to working further with these Health and Wellbeing Boards to make better homeless health a reality.
Image: Wirral's Charter for Homeless Health, signed by Health and Wellbeing Board Chair Councillor Phil Davies.
A letter from the Public Health Minister
We've just received a letter from Jane Ellison, Minister for Public Health, on behalf of the Health Secretary. The letter is in response to receiving our Homeless Health petition on 20 October.
In the letter she says: "I am grateful for St Mungo's Broadway in highlighting the links between homelessness and health". The letter details some steps the government is taking to improve homeless health, and concludes: "I hope this reassures St Mungo's Broadway and those who have signed the Homeless Health Matters petition that we are committed to improving the health of homeless people".
It's a positive response to a year of campaigning, and we'll continue to exert influence to keep homeless health high up on the agenda. Thank you to all our campaigners who have helped make this happen!
Michael Tomlinson MP calls for government action on homeless health
Following his attendance at our Homeless Health Matters parliamentary event last week, Michael Tomlinson, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, has said:
"It is not acceptable that people who are homeless experience such poor health and often struggle to get the healthcare they need. I urge the government to act on the St Mungo's Broadway petition to change this, and encourage health services locally to ensure they are accessible and welcoming to the most vulnerable in our society."
Delivering our petition
Today we delivered our Homeless Health 47 petition! More than 12,000 people signed the petition calling for action to ensure that people who are homeless can get the healthcare they need. Thank you so much to everyone who supported the petition.
We started the day outside the Department of Health in London with a group of St Mungo's Broadway staff and clients and a large copy of our petition in the style of a prescription for the Secretary of State for Health! After taking the petition on a tour around some health-related locations in London, we headed to an event in Parliament to present the petition to the Minister for Public Health, Jane Ellison.
Last chance to sign our petition. Be a part of it!
Our petition demanding a commitment to homeless people's health closes on 15 October. Make sure your name is on it: sign here.
On 20 October, we'll be presenting the petition to a representative of the Secretary of State for Health. We want to make a bold statement, so we'll be presenting the petition alongside clients in our services in a quirky way - watch this space and look out for details!
Less than 4 weeks to go!
Our Homeless Health 47 petition closes for signatures on 15 October. After that we’ll be preparing to deliver the petition to a representative of the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, at a parliamentary reception on 20 October.
Make sure your name is on the petition when we hand it in!
34 Health and Wellbeing Boards on board!
Since October last year, we’ve been asking local health leaders – who sit on Health and Wellbeing Boards around England – to sign our Homeless Health Charter. By signing the Charter, they commit to understanding and meeting the health needs of people who are homeless in their area. We’re excited that 34 Boards have now signed up.
Councillor David Green, Chair of the Bradford Health and Wellbeing Board, recently signed the Charter saying:
“Bradford District’s [Health and Wellbeing Board] takes the position of vulnerable groups’ health and well-being very seriously and welcomed the opportunity to ‘sign up’ to a charter acknowledging the particular health impacts for homeless households. We are also lucky to have a strategic ‘Homelessness Core group’ who will be dedicated to tackling these issues in our area in the future.”
Areas signed up so far: Bath and North East Somerset, Birmingham, Bradford, Brent, Bristol, Camden, Cornwall, Coventry, Durham, Ealing, Essex, Gateshead, Greenwich, Halton, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hampshire, Haringey, Herefordshire, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth, Leeds, Leicester, Lewisham, Luton, Merton, Newcastle, Rochdale, Sheffield, Tameside, Walsall, Waltham Forest, Wigan and Wokingham.
Can’t see your area on the list? Click here to send a message to your local health leaders today.
11,000 people have signed our petition to the Health Secretary
Our petition calling for a commitment to homeless people’s health keeps on growing! We’re asking the Secretary of State for Health to ensure that:
1. No one is excluded from health services because they are homeless.
2. No one is barred from mental health treatment because they are struggling to tackle drug or alcohol issues.
3. No one is discharged from hospital onto the street.
11,000 people so far have put their voices behind the petition.
Homeless health matters – 10,000+ agree!
Just over two weeks since launching, our Homeless Health 47 petition has received more than 10,000 signatures! A huge thank you to everyone who has signed so far.
The petition is calling on the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, to make the health of homeless people a priority, and ensure that no one misses out on the healthcare they need to build a better future.
We’re really excited about the response to our petition so far, but it’s still just the beginning! The more people who sign, the louder our message will be:
Share with friends: www.mungosbroadway.org.uk/homelesshealth
7,700 and counting!
We’re excited that our petition calling on the Health Secretary to prioritise the health needs of people who are homeless has received 7,700 signatures so far. Huge thanks to everyone who has signed the petition!
We’re so close to 8,000 signatures. Will you help us get there?
Homeless health petition tops 7,000 signatures in a week!
Just a week after launching our homeless health 47 petition, it’s received more than 7,200 signatures!
Huge thanks to everyone who has signed the petition so far. Can you help us keep up the momentum?
If you’ve not yet done so, add your name to the petition.
And share this link with family and friends to encourage them to sign too: www.mungosbroadway.org.uk/homelesshealth.
British Medical Association supports campaign
Great news! The British Medical Association (BMA) Chair, Dr Mark Porter, has shown his support for our homelesshealth47 initiative, recognising that people who are homeless are ‘the most vulnerable of our patients’.
Click here to watch the BMA’s motion 225.
And don’t forget to add your name to the petition!
47 days and 47 years - New petition launched today!
As the government marks 47 days in office, we've launched our 'Homeless Health 47' petition to highlight that the average age of someone who dies while homeless is just 47.
The petition calls on the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, to make the health of homeless people a priority.
Howard Sinclair, St Mungo's Broadway Chief Executive, said: "Almost twice as many people who use homelessness services have long term physical health problems and mental health diagnoses compared to the general public, and the average age of people who die while homeless is 47.
"That is why we are asking people to sign our petition, share their concern and together we want to urge the Health Secretary to drive forward improvements in healthcare for homeless people."
Leeds becomes the 29th Health and Wellbeing Board to sign our Charter!
29 Health and Wellbeing Boards have now signed the St Mungo's Broadway Charter for Homeless Health.
Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board Chair Lisa Mulherin today signed up to support the aims of the charter, joined by John Walsh, from Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust (LCH) and a specialist in working with homeless people.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:
"I'm delighted the Leeds health and care community have been able to demonstrate our commitment to the health of homeless people in Leeds by signing this charter which recognises the work in the city through the Homeless Accommodation Leeds Pathway (HALP).
"We know the significant health challenges homeless people face and as part of our commitment to improve the health of the poorest fastest, we are working with organisations across the city to get better support for homeless people."
Don't leave young people cut out and shut out
The Queen's speech on 27 May referenced the government's intention to cut housing benefit for young people aged 18 to 21. We are seriously concerned about these plans, as it could push many young people onto the streets.
Many young people simply cannot live at home, and housing benefit is all that stands between them and the streets. Of the young people St Mungo's Broadway works with, 23% cite domestic violence as the reason for their homelessness, and 57% said their families were no longer willing to provide accommodation.
We urgently need your MP to help block these alarming plans in Parliament sooner rather than later. The greater the opposition, the less chance there is of these plans becoming a reality.
General election result - PM must deliver on his commitment to tackle homelessness
As Mr Cameron returns to his role as Prime Minister following the Conservatives' election victory, St Mungo's Broadway reminds him that rough sleeping has not gone down, as he claimed in one campaign interview with Radio 1's Live Lounge. Government statistics show the number of people sleeping rough has actually increased 55 per cent since 2010.
Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of St Mungo's Broadway, said: "We hope the Prime Minister will instruct his new ministers to look carefully at what is going on and to work with other departments, homelessness charities and local councils to reverse this worrying trend."
As a charity, we look forward to working with the next government on specific priorities, including more housing that everyone can afford, better employment support for homeless and vulnerable people and action to improve homeless health.
Students in York take a stand for homeless health
We’d like to say a huge thank you to members of Medsin York - a group of students in York who care about health equality and inclusion as part of the broader Medsin student network. We’d also like to thank members of Medsin Hull who showed their support.
On Friday 24 April, Medsin York held an event focused on health and homelessness as part of their annual lecture series. Cat, a member of our policy team, spoke at the event about our work to influence positive changes in health policy and practice, and encouraged students in York and Hull can get involved in our Homeless Health Matters campaign.
If you are a member of a student or local group who would like to hold a similar event, please get in touch on email@example.com and we can send you some posters and other resources.
28 Health and Wellbeing Boards are on board!
Merton has just become the 28th Health and Wellbeing Board to sign the Homeless Health Charter.
What a great way to end the week in the campaigns team here at St Mungo's Broadway. Thank you to all our supporters who have made it possible!
The other Health and Wellbeing Boards signed up to our Homeless Health Charter are: Birmingham, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Camden, Cornwall, Coventry, Ealing, Essex, Greenwich, Halton, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hampshire, Haringey, Herefordshire, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Luton, Newcastle, Rochdale, Sheffield, Tameside, Walsall, Waltham Forest, Wigan and Wokingham.
Make your voice heard
In the run up to the general election on 7 May, we have been getting involved in the Your Vote Matters campaign - coordinated by Homeless Link. The initiative aims to increase democratic engagement and voter registration among people using homelessness services.
We think it's important that no one misses out on the opportunity to have their say on decisions that will impact their lives.
On 27 March at a client-led event, we spent the whole day helping the people who use our services to register to vote. One of them was Malcolm, a former rough sleeper, who has been receiving support from our Street Impact service. Malcolm, pictured here, told us he is "absolutely" going to vote on 7 May because "it's important to make your voice heard." We couldn't agree more.
Make your voice heard too. Click here to register by 20 April.
27 Health and Wellbeing Boards have now signed the Homeless Health Charter!
Signatories so far include: Birmingham, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Camden, Cornwall, Coventry, Ealing, Essex, Greenwich, Halton, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hampshire, Haringey, Herefordshire, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Luton, Newcastle, Rochdale, Sheffield, Tameside, Walsall, Waltham Forest, Wigan and Wokingham.
Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, and Dr Martin Jones, Chair of Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group, formally signed the Charter on behalf of Bristol Health and Wellbeing Board.
Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson said: “It is our responsibility to make sure [homeless people] have the same access to support and healthcare as anyone else in society. That is why we have signed up to the Homeless Health Charter today. It is vitally important that we give priority to looking after the most vulnerable people in this city”.
Dr Martin Jones said: “By signing St Mungo's Broadway's Homeless Health Charter today we are committing to identifying the specific needs of homeless people, developing services that take those needs into account and that are welcoming and easy to access."
Taking a stand on World Health Day 2015
A group of around 40 St Mungo's Broadway clients, staff and supporters took a stand to raise awareness of the Homeless Health Matters campaign on World Health Day, 7 April.
By joining together – along with ‘mock’ IV drip bags and some giant yellow letters – they demanded better healthcare for people who are homeless as part of our campaign.
25 Health and Wellbeing Boards in England have signed our Homeless Health Charter to date, thanks to the support of 2,500 campaigners!
20 Health and Wellbeing Boards are on board!
Thanks to all our amazing campaigners, 20 Health and Wellbeing Boards have now signed our Homeless Health Charter!
The boards signed up so far: Birmingham, Brighton and Hove, Camden, Cornwall, Coventry, Halton, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hampshire, Haringey, Herefordshire, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth, Luton, Sheffield, Tameside, Walsall, Waltham Forest, Wigan and Wokingham.
It’s really exciting to see the campaign taking off – and it wouldn’t have been possible without our supporters! But with many boards yet to sign, we’ll continue to spread the word about homeless health. To find out how you can get more involved in the campaign, click here.
Hammersmith and Fulham HWB signs up!
The Health and Wellbeing Board for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has signed the St Mungo's Broadway Homeless Health Charter.
Councillor Vivienne Lukey, Chair of the Board, also attended an annual Health and Wellbeing Fair hosted by St Mungo's Broadway. The event was an opportunity for residents living in supported accommodation in Hammersmith and Fulham to learn about local health and wellbeing services.
Councillor Lukey said: "Homeless people are particularly at risk as they might not have the same access to GPs that others enjoy, nor the same support of family and friends, so it is imperative we commit any help we can offer to address this."
Image: Councillor Lukey, Chair of the Hammersmith and Fulham Health and Wellbeing Board, signs the Homeless Health Charter. Photo: © St Mungo's Broadway/ Patrick Ring.
Lambeth Health and Wellbeing Board endorses Homeless Health Charter
We’re delighted that Lambeth Health and Wellbeing Board has just signed our Homeless Health Charter.
Cllr Jim Dickson, who Chairs the Health and Wellbeing Board, tweeted a signed copy of the Charter on Friday 6 February, expressing his support for the campaign.
Brand new 60 second film
We just launched a brand new 60 second film to spread the word about our Homeless Health Matters campaign. The film, made for us by agency Publicis Chemisty, follows a day in the life of George who has experienced homelessness himself. We hope that the film will help to raise awareness, and send a clear message that homeless people have health needs too.
We hope you will enjoy the film! If possible, we recommend that you listen with the sound on – you’ll hear a new track from leading songwriter, Ben Howard. Click here to watch the film and take part in the campaign. If you’ve taken part already, please share it with friends!
Birmingham Health and Wellbeing Board shows leadership on homeless health
Great news just in – Birmingham Health and Wellbeing Board has signed the St Mungo’s Broadway Homeless Health Charter, committing to identify the health needs of homeless people in Birmingham, provide leadership on addressing homeless health, and work with other local decision makers to ensure that local health services meet the needs of homeless people.
Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr John Cotton, signed the Charter on behalf of the board, saying “by signing up to the St Mungo’s Broadway charter, the council, health organisations, the voluntary and community sector are all showing a determination to work together to help improve the lives and health of some of Birmingham’s most vulnerable people.”
We’re delighted that Birmingham has endorsed the Homeless Health Charter with the potential to make a difference in the lives of many people experiencing homelessness.
We hope that other Health and Wellbeing Boards will follow Birmingham's lead! Help us keep the pressure up: click here to support the campaign.
Image:Birmingham's pledge for homeless health.
Read the full press release here.
Haringey Health and Wellbeing Board signs up to Homeless Health Charter
Haringey Health and Wellbeing Board in London is the latest board to sign up to our Homeless Health Charter, pledging their commitment to measure and understand the needs of homeless people, and to work with local decision makers to ensure that services meet the health needs of people who are homeless.
Signing on behalf of Haringey Health and Wellbeing Board, Cllr Peter Morton said: "In Haringey, the council, NHS, voluntary and community sector are determined to work together to help improve the lives and health of some of the borough's most vulnerable people.
"St Mungo's Broadway's Homeless Health Charter is an excellent scheme, evidence shows that homeless people are much more likely to have physical and mental health problems and a significantly lower life expectancy. By including homeless people in our health planning we will be better able to identify their needs and ensure that they can get the healthcare and support they need."
Image: Cllr Peter Morton, Haringey Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, with residents Rita and Lloyd from our Vartry Road hostel.
Homeless Health Conference
The third St Mungo's Broadway Homeless Health Conference took place on Monday 15 December in London, at Hammersmith Town Hall.
About 60 people attended the event including health and housing workers and their clients. They enjoyed a range of talks and healthy activities including help to quit smoking, first aid, dental health and alcohol awareness.
The event was organised as part of the St Mungo's Broadway Health and Homelessness Project, which provides housing and support to homeless people in Hammersmith and Fulham and also across London and the South.
Jess Clark, the Health and Homelessness Project Coordinator for St Mungo's Broadway in Shepherd's Bush, said: "Homelessness is a health issue. During the colder months it's incredibly important that people are keeping a close eye on their health. We know that poor health can be both a cause and a consequence of homelessness and today is all about learning how to stay well throughout the winter. It's lovely to see so many people here and I'm grateful to all our staff, partners and the council who have given their time and expertise to support homeless healthcare and our clients today."
Read more about the event here.
One month update
One month into our campaign, six of the 152 Health and Wellbeing Boards across England have signed up to the St Mungo's Broadway Homeless Health Charter and pledged their commitment to measure and understand the health needs of homeless people.
The six Health and Wellbeing Boards now signed up to the Homeless Health Charter are: Brighton and Hove, Camden, Hampshire, Islington, Wigan and Workingham.
This is positive progress so far, and it would not have been possible without the support of all those who contacted their local health leaders, demanding urgent action to tackle the ill health of homeless people in their area.
We are excited that the campaign is already having an impact. But with many boards yet to sign up, more action is needed. If you have not yet taken part in the campaign, please take action here. If you have already taken action, please ask your friends and family to take part too, and read about other ways to get involved here.
You can read the full update here.
Progress towards better homeless health
It's just three weeks since we launched our new campaign, A Future. Now: Homeless Health Matters, and we've already seen some promising results.
Almost 800 supporters have taken part in the campaign so far, and we're beginning to get some positive responses from Health and Wellbeing Boards across England.
Thank you so much to all supporters who have taken part so far - your voice really matters! Click here to find out about other ways you can support the campaign.
If you've not yet taken part in the campaign, please click here to make your voice heard and take action now!
We're excited to announce the launch of the next phase of the A Future Now campaign, Homeless Health Matters on 28 October.
Homeless people experience more severe and complex health problems than most, but they often struggle to get the support they need at the right time.
Across England, Health and Wellbeing Boards - made up of elected representatives and local officials - are responsible for developing local health plans. The Homeless Health Matters campaign will urge Health and Wellbeing Boards to commit to improving homeless health in their area by signing our Homeless Health Charter.
It's clear from the success of our Reading Matters campaign that when we raise our voices together for change, we can have a big impact. So we hope that you will join us to help homeless people build a future, now.
New College library area opens on International Literacy Day
As we approached the end of our Reading Matters campaign, highlighting the importance of accessible English and maths skills training in tackling homelessness, we asked supporters to tell us which book matters to them most and why. We had hundreds of brilliant suggestions from supporters, and many of the most popular titles are now stocked in the Recovery College library for our clients to read and enjoy.
Adrian Bailey said he was delighted to be opening the library on International Literacy Day, an expressed his support for the work being done to improve basic skills among homeless people. He said:
"I wish the Recovery College library and all its future readers every success and hope that reading helps them the way it helped me."
The library opening coincided with the release of a new report from the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee. The report is the result of an inquiry into adult literacy and numeracy, which St Mungo's Broadway clients and staff actively contributed to. We are delighted that it reflects our recommendation for funding that allows more flexible skills programmes, and supports our own skills programme, STRIVE.
Read the full press release here.
Thank you to everyone who signed our Reading Matters petition
Between February and June 2014, almost 3,000 supporters signed our Reading Matters petition to the Minister for Skills and Enterprise, calling for basic skills training to be well-funded, suitable and accessible to all homeless people. A big thank you to all supporters who took action your message got through loud and clear.
At our parliamentary reception on Monday 16 June, two members from our client involvement group Outside In, delivered all the signatures from our Reading Matters petition to Matthew Hancock, Minister for Skills and Enterprise.
We were delighted that in his speech immediately afterwards he pledged his support to help homeless people improve their English and maths.
In a follow up statement he said:
"Thank you to all the St Mungo's Broadway supporters who signed the Reading Matters petition as part of the organisation's A Future. Now campaign. I hear your calls for changes to training opportunities for people who are homeless and this Government is wholeheartedly committed to actions that mean a better future for the homeless. The question for the [pilot] is not whether support for the homeless should continue, but how."
This is a great show of commitment on the back of the campaign and the evidence found from our new report Reading Counts.
You can read more about his pledge here.