Hairdressers helping the homeless is one of the most heartening trends of 2019! Increasingly we see the hairdressing community working the best way possible – helping to raise the confidence and self-esteem of those struggling with homelessness. We’re proud of you. All it takes is a bit of rotten luck, or one bad decision, maybe the breakdown of a relationship, or ill health, and any one of us could find housing becomes a problem. As hairdressers, it’s in all of your powers to help someone back onto their feet, to move out of that doorway, or hostel or tent and into the home they deserve.
Following a shout-out for help from Crisis at Christmas, we can report that there will be more hairdressers working in the salons at London’s shelters this year. The charity opens day and residential shelters for the week of Christmas in many major cities around the UK – a vital service as between 24th December and New Year many of the usual support agencies are closed. A little down on numbers for the capital city, Crisis project coordinator Oliver contacted us for help, and we were delighted to oblige. In one week, you came up with more than 21 salon sign- ups equating to covering 26 shifts and 195 hours of hair cutting!
Essentially Crisis is about ending homelessness and during their time at one of the Crisis shelters, guests are invited to access the help of counsellors, careers and benefits advisors to turn things around. Equally important, guests can see doctors, dentists and visit pop-up hairdressing salons – all vital for health and wellbeing. AND to stock the salons, we are thrilled to have support from ghd Professional providing hair tools to use, CND nails donating nail care equipment, and Kent Brushes gifting combs and brushes. Thank you so much!
“I volunteer with Crisis at Christmas and working several shifts I see first-hand how fantastic it is for guests at the shelters to be treated to haircuts and styling. For many it’s one of the only times in a year they can feel genuinely cared about, literally touched by another human being, and regain some self-belief. Hairdressers can be proud they really do help.” Nicky Pope, publisher Tribu-te UK
It’s not too late to help change someone’s fortunes and make 2020 a better year. To donate to support Crisis, click HERE
And homelessness isn’t just for Christmas. This year the hairdressing industry’s attention has been on Stewart Roberts who founded Haircuts4Homeless. He has organised a network of volunteers in cities across Great Britain (currently in 27 locations), who open pop-up salons where anyone in need can enjoy some attention and regain a sense of self-worth through a haircut. Stewart and his posse of skilled hairdressers give their time free of charge to offer this service. Each volunteer commits to just a few hours a month, with area organisers to make the arrangements in each community. You just need to rock up with a smile on your face and an open-mind. “It’s far from a unique idea,.. but we are organised to create a safe environment in centres across the country.” Stewart Roberts, Haircuts4Homeless. If you are interested and want to volunteer or donate, then here’s how: Donate link: bit.ly/H4HDonations Or to volunteer in your area, the website http://haircuts4homeless.com/
Salon owners – do you know where your team go each night? Are you confident that everyone has a safe and secure home? There are many hidden homeless who may be too shy, embarrassed or frightened to share their circumstances. Sofa surfers to rough sleepers, in the UK there are hundreds of young people who are homeless but holding down jobs, with their colleagues and employers unaware of their situation.
NEARLY 5,000 SLEEPING ROUGH EACH NIGHT
On average, homeless people die at just 44 years old. Homelessness is devastating, dangerous and isolating. People sleeping on the street are almost 17 times more likely to have been victims of violence. More than one in three people sleeping rough have been deliberately hit or kicked or experienced some other form of violence whilst homeless. Homeless people are over nine times more likely to take their own life than the general population.
The Homelessness Monitor 2019 is commissioned by Crisis and funded by Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It explains homelessness as:
- People sleeping rough.
- Single homeless people living in hostels, shelters and temporary supported accommodation.
- Statutorily homeless households – households who seek housing assistance from local authorities on grounds of being currently or imminently without accommodation.
- ‘Hidden homeless’ households – people who may be considered homeless but whose situation is not ‘visible’ either on the streets or in official statistics
The 2019 report notes that with the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act in April 2018, and the Rough Sleeping Strategy in Summer 2018. The findings reflect a modest – but palpable – sense of relief, amongst both local authorities and key informants at these policy developments. But there is still much to do and to get some 5,000 people off the streets each night, we need to keep working together to end homelessness.