LETTER: The plight of homeless women

YOUR readers may have read recently about increases in homelessness across the UK.

What they may not know is that women make up more than half of those living in temporary accommodation and that, in London alone, one in 10 people who sleep on the streets are women.

Women who end up sleeping rough often have a complex mix of problems.

As a homelessness charity, we at St Mungo’s have learnt from women more about what led to their homelessness.

For instance, more than a third of our women clients who have slept rough tell us they became homeless because of domestic abuse.

Others have a history of being in care, of family relationships that have broken down, of losing contact with their children or of poor mental health, drug or alcohol use.

We are looking to improve our own housing and support services for women but, because the problems are complicated, we want to hear from others as well about what works – not least women who have themselves been homeless and what made a difference to them.

That’s why we’re asking people and organisations in your region to join our new 18 month campaign, Rebuilding Shattered Lives, so we can get the right help to women when they need it to enable them to recover and successfully move on with their lives.

Please do join our campaign at www.rebuildingshatteredlives.org.

ESTHER SAMPLE

ST MUNGO’S WOMEN’S STRATEGY CO-ORDINATOR