Homelessness Tyne and Wear Apr 2015

Vital Accommodation for Newcastle’s Homeless Women

CRASH is continuing to support Saint Vincent de Paul (SVP) in Newcastle with the creation of further self-contained flats to provide supported move on accommodation.

The need

These latest flat have been created specifically for homeless women after evidence showed that there was virtually no supported move on accommodation for this vulnerable group in the area.

The top floor of the Grade II listed building lent itself perfectly to this project as it is separated from the accommodation provided for men.

The solution

After being contacted, we reached out to our CRASH patrons to see how we could best approach this project to offer as much support as possible.

How patrons helped

Through CRASH, SVP has received pro bono professional expertise and donations of materials from CRASH Patrons British Gypsum and Dulux Trade, from supporters Twyfords, Isover and Symphony Kitchens. CRASH awarded the project a cash grant of £25,000.

The social impact

Research showed that women made up 26% of people who accessed homelessness services in 2013, which in real numbers was around 10,000 people. At the sharpest end of homelessness, 786 women were recorded sleeping rough in the last year.

There are no figures on the number of women sleeping rough nationally but the overall number of people recorded sleeping rough has risen by 37% since 2010. The true number is likely to be much higher.

Homeless women have many complicated, interrelated problems contributing to their homelessness, which are often rooted in trauma due to violence and abuse in childhood and then adulthood.

A further risk is that if a vulnerable woman flees domestic abuse and ends up in a mixed hostel where another incident of abuse takes place, this counteracts any positive progress made in their recovery.

This is one of the reasons why CRASH chose to support SVP with their aim to provide much needed move on accommodation for single women in the Newcastle area.

The aim of the St Vincent de Paul Society is the same today as it was at its conception in the 19th Century: to tackle poverty in all its forms through the provision of practical assistance to those in need.

Over the years, the SVP has responded to social changes, providing a range of additional services depending on the prevailing need. Today, these “Community Support Projects/Special Works” include furniture stores, support centres, providing accommodation to vulnerable people, disability projects, soup runs, children’s camps and various holiday schemes amongst other things.

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