Supporting the homeless

Find out more about the fantastic project, Haircuts4Homeless

As the nights get longer and the temperature starts to fall, many of us start to think about those who don’t have a roof over their heads or a safe place to sleep. Homelessness affects over 300,000 people in the UK, there’s still a lot to be done to combat the issue, but hundreds of Good Causes across the UK are already working to prevent and support homelessness, thanks to funding from you – our players.

By playing The National Lottery you’re playing a vital role in supporting the homeless. From rehabilitation and sports projects through to community groups and shelters, every time you play you help hundreds of projects that are working to tackle homelessness and support those living on the street.

Giving the gift of time

Haircuts4Homeless is one National Lottery funded project that works with homeless people. Founded by Hairdresser Stewart Roberts, this project has established a community of skilled hairdressers across the country who volunteer to provide free haircuts for homeless people.

“The transformation you see in people when they get a haircut is incredible”, explains Stewart. “It really lifts their self esteem, their self worth."

National Lottery funding has enabled Stewart to recruit and train a team of volunteers who visit homeless shelters each month to meet people and provide a haircut and a sympathetic ear.

Stewart continues “It’s all about making them look and feel better about themselves, you can’t bottle that or buy that feeling. Time is the most precious thing to give someone. If you’ve got someone in these circumstances and you can really lift them, it's a privilege. Thanks to The National Lottery and its players, it's made a massive difference to our project. Buying a ticket is a lot more than prizes. Buying a ticket transforms lives.”

The complexities of homelessness

People sleeping on the streets is an issue often most visible in major cities, however homelessness is a much wider problem with the term ‘hidden homelessness’ including people who are sleeping in hostels, at friends houses or attempting to escape their homes due to domestic situations.

In 2017 National Lottery funding supported over 220 Good Causes that are supporting people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Here are just a few:

First Stop in Darlington provide a one stop shop facility for homeless people offering 1-2-1 advice, job clubs, literacy support as well as the basics like showers and laundry equipment.

The organisation prides itself on working with people to tackle the root cause of why they’re in that position and address their complex needs.

South Birmingham Young Homeless Project has received National Lottery funding to support people who are homeless or at risk of being without a home, providing advice on housing, welfare benefits and debt. People who already benefit from these services have helped to shape a new project, which aims to benefit an additional 2,800 local people across Birmingham.

“The Lottery changes people's lives. I know because I see it every day.”
- Stewart, Haircuts4Homeless

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