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What does home mean to you?

Posted by Olderiswiser Editorial

To mark International Women’s Day (8 March) homelessness charity St Mungo’s has launched a new legacy fundraising campaign, focusing on women’s homelessness and asking what home means to you.

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Many of us take our homes for granted, but for someone experiencing homelessness, it can mean the difference between life and death. St Mungo’s works hard to provide female clients with the safety, warmth and comfort that many people experiencing homelessness lack. The charity runs a wide range of women’s services across London and Bristol, offering a safe space for female clients to recover from the abuse and trauma that many have suffered.

Ros - St Mungo's

According to the latest figures, 642 women sleep rough on any one night in England in autumn 2018.  Women sleeping rough are more likely than men to need support for mental health problems, and a third of St Mungo’s female clients said that domestic abuse contributed to their homelessness.

Many homeless women are ‘hidden’ because they are not sleeping rough but are experiencing homelessness in a different way – seeking shelter with abusive partners, squatting or sofa surfing with friends and family – so may not be counted in official statistics.

To find out more about homelessness, in particular women’s homelessness, take St Mungo’s short quiz and share what homes mean to you.

St Mungo’s client, Shineze shares her story

“I found myself on the streets because of a family breakdown. I’ve been to multiple hostels run by different organisations where they’ve been mixed in gender, and I’ve never really been able to settle properly. After coming to St Mungo’s, I felt supported, understood, and listened to. I have key worker sessions much more regularly now, and they work with me to achieve and stick to my goals. I also feel empowered by the strong women that surround me at the hostel; they’ve all been through so much and I feel like I can learn so much from them.

If it wasn’t for St Mungo’s, I could still be on the streets today. Living in this women’s hostel, with all the support that I have been given, has dramatically changed my life. I feel inspired to continue studying, regain my independence and move on from my experiences of homelessness.”

Every night St Mungo’s offers a bed and support to 2,800 people. A gift in your will could help reach more people sleeping rough and end homelessness for good.

Find out more

To find out more about the campaign and leaving a gift in your will, visit www.mungos.org/my-home or contact Katie Wimpenny, Legacy and In Memory Manager at St Mungo’s on 0203 856 6376 or legacies@mungos.org

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