These innovative ideas to help the homeless, can help people who need a helping hand. Most homeless people in England, do not choose to live this way. Being homeless is not a lifestyle choice. Often it’s caused by being widowed, divorced, ill or escaping abuse. It’s cold, dangerous, boring and most homeless people die at age just 47. Throwing money is clearly not working, neither is waiting for councils/governments to act. So here are a few innovative ideas, including to help dogs of homeless people.
Shop Swaps to Help the Homeless
- Hopeful Traders offers organic cotton Fair Trade sweatshirts & hoodies. Instead of just giving to homeless charities, they collaborative with people who have (or still do) experience issues of homelessness & mental health, to give them more direct help.
- Flo is a brand of organic cotton & bamboo feminine care. As well as helping your health and the planet, the company uses profits to help their chosen charities (donating menstrual items to homeless people, refugees & asylum seekers).
- Pivot is a jewellery brand that makes nice hoop or moon earrings. This social enterprise provides part-time meaningful employment to people experiencing homelessness, to help get them back into work and into permanent accommodation. Each piece bought helps to get one step closer, to the goal of leaving emergency hostels.
- Stand 4 Socks produce quality socks in many fun colourful designs. The difference is that for each pair sold, the company donates another pair of thick anti-bacterial socks to a homeless person. The socks all have a small cause logo on the ankle, to show you how the sock helps: it could power a hospital, clear landmines or plant trees. You can also buy socks that help homeless people at Leiho. Note both include a little elastane that is not biodegradable, so wash with a Guppyfriend, to stop microplastics entering our oceans.
Innovative Ideas to Solve Homelessness
- Buses 4 Homeless refurbishes London buses, turning them into 16-bunks with kitchen/diner, learning space & health centre.
- Homes for the Homeless were created by architect James Furzer, who was appalled to learn that some councils use ‘spikes’ to stop homeless people sleeping on park benches. These pods attach to sides of buildings, warmed by air vents.
- Goldsmith Street in Norwich is England’s first energy-efficient social housing project, heating bills are around £150 a year.
- Housing Reclaimed is a book about US communities who create beautiful homes, by doing up homes slated for demolition.
- Tent City Urbanism tells the story of Portland’s Dignity Village, where local people live in tents, to create their own housing estates, when councils won’t help. KarTent is a waterproof cardboard affordable tent that is as safe as any other tent (it’s easy to escape in fire, as there are no guy ropes to stumble over). You can also buy cardboard chairs, so you have somewhere to sit outside.
- Amazing Grace Spaces offers emergency shelter spaces with a bed, toilet, phone charger and unique secure keycode.
- Greater Change (Oxford) receives notification of local homeless people. Then it pools donations for housing deposits, ID & training courses to help.
- The Big Issue is a newspaper, which homeless people sell on the street, and keep the profits. It’s also found in local shops.
- The Giving Keys (US) is an idea set up by a songwriter. Donated unused keys are recycled into jewellery, which helps to give homeless people a job & salary.
- Sleep Pod are insulated self-warming tents that cost £25 to make by volunteers. One user said ‘I slept solidly for 8 hours straight. I can’t remember the last time I did that’. Thought up at a refugee camp.
- Duffily is a reflective, waterproof and non-flammable sleeping bag, invented by an Irish teen. The pillow doubles as storage space.
- KipBags contain donated sleeping bags, toiletries, socks, hats & plasters, along with a homeless information pack.
- The Roof Initiative (Wales) is an urban coat (with integrated sleeping bag) undergoing tests for water, fire & slash-proofing, moisture-wicking, and safety to freezing temperatures. It’s washable & lightweight, with a lifetime guarantee. Also in versions for babies, pregnancy, older people, toddlers & people with disabilities.
- Empowerment Plan is a weather-resistant coat or shoulder bag, which transforms into a sleeping bag. Made from upcycled fabric, it’s designed to last multiple seasons.
No Fixed Abode is one of the few books written about life and death of the forgotten homeless. A subject we all care about – the fact that around 280,000 people across England are homeless, literally sleeping on the streets, often with their dogs. See help the homeless tag.
If you get really upset seeing dogs with homeless people, see how to help dogs of homeless people for practical ideas to help.
This book finally gives a face and voice to the forgotten in society. It tells of personal, human and sometimes uplifting stories of real people, who have been made homeless, struggling in a crumbling system. While governments can find money for nuclear weapons we don’t need, it can never find money to help the most vulnerable in society. And throwing money at big charity obviously is not working.
Did you know that the average homeless person dies at just 47 years old? Most people don’t ‘choose to be homeless’. Being homeless is cold, boring, scary, dangerous, bad for your health and often results in death. Hundreds of people are literally dying on our streets, yet not one of us could safely say that, given a few circumstances (divorce, widowhood, illness, losing a job) we not end up as one of them. Many very successful and wealthy people have ended up living on the streets, through no fault of their own. Homeless people are even now banned from some train stations, and councils sometimes use ‘spikes’ on benches, to prevent people sleeping on them.
You’ll also meet some of the courageous people who dedicate their lives to saving the forgotten of our society, and see how the smallest act of kindness or affection, can safe life. This is a timely and important book, which shows how terrifyingly close to breaking point we are.
Did you know that the famed Bullingdon Club (a private male dining club at Oxford University) had a series of rituals that members had to go through? These included intimidating waiting staff – and burning a £20 note in front of a homeless person. Many MPs (previous members) deny this, but it’s been banned.