It’s sensible to say that if you lost your home, your greatest need would be another home.
If you have a home, you can cook hot meals and keep warm. Your physical and mental health will most likely improve, you can build friendships with your neighbours and leave the stigma of homelessness behind you.
So if reducing homelessness is important to you and you want to give money to a homelessness charity, we believe it’s essential to ask the charity two questions to work out whether your money will be put to good use:
1. How many people does the charity actually help to get a safe home every year?
2. How much money in total does it cost to run the charity per year?
A quick bit of maths will show how much money the charity spends per person it supports into a home.
For JustUs, based on our last financial year, the answers are as follows:
1. 41 people from 22 households*
That equates to £212 per person housed.
And because we cover our admin costs with the money we make from selling homelessness law training, we are able to spend EVERY penny donated to us on the work of getting people housed.
Now of course this over-simplifies the nature of work with people when they’re homeless, and there are of course many ‘soft’ outcomes – serving hot meals, giving out blankets, being a listening ear and signposting to other charities. But we believe that unless these ‘soft’ outcomes compliment the ‘hard’ outcomes of actually getting someone properly housed, it is not obvious how homelessness is going to be effectively tackled, and people will just end up on the merry-go-round of multiple homelessness services without an actual offer of housing to escape with.
So if you’re thinking of making the biggest difference with your money we’re pretty sure no one comes close to the impact we have with the funding we use, but feel free to contact us and ask us more about it – see our accounts tab for more on how we spend the money. Regular donators also receive regular updates about how we are putting our funding to use.
*This figure is the number of people who moved into their home in the period. Due to the effects of the Homelessness Reduction Act and shortage of all tyops of housing we are finding that people are having to wait in temporary accommodation much longer before they actually get their home than they did in previous years. The number of people who were guaranteed a home in this period was 52 – see the spending summary for more information.