Did you know that Halloween originated from its symbolisation between the living and the dead? Because I’d always assumed that it meant sweets and quirky costumes. It’s become a season to celebrate for its fun but chilling and spooky focus. But the reality is that we do live in a scary world, not to say that clowns or skeletons aren’t scary but when we look at what truly brings us fear is it seeing a ghost or is it seeing your bank balance at the end of the month?
If you’ve turned on the news once over the last couple of years you’d understand that the world can be a scary place, whether it’s forest fires, wars, pandemics or the rising cost of living, it’s all been a lot for everyone to take in.
Not to burst the festive bubble but as a business with a dedication towards positively impacting those in need, we often come face to face with a reality check through the hardship and struggles that so many of us are affected by in today's climate.
There are many people living lives without a roof over their head and it’s important to understand the underlying factors that contribute to this. Here are 5 scary facts about the impacts on human life that have happened in recent times due to many different contributing factors. But have no fear, it’s important to address the underlying issues that cause the need for support and the reason impactful businesses like us exist is to show solutions and ways to give back, so we will provide some options and ways that you can do this.
1. There are 271,000 people living without homes in the UKThis is a staggering amount of people and not to mention that 123,000 of those are children. This means that 1 in 208 people living within the UK don’t have a roof over their head. There are a number of factors that can result in homelessness being such things as not being able to afford rent, losing a job, illness and mental health problems and substance misuse. Alongside a rise in homelessness there has also been a dip in bed spacing for people without a home amid government funding cuts and local council belt tightening. So as the cost of everything rises, the effects ripple through the funding that is needed to support those in need. So even a little contribution can go a long way, here are some ways you can support people experiencing homelessness:
- Donate to a night shelter such as Highway House
- Make them a care package, read our blog about what you can put in care packages
- Volunteer your time at a soup kitchen like AR Projects
2. There are 110 million refugees worldwide fleeing violence, conflict and persecution
To put this into perspective, this is more than any other time since WW2. We can often be overwhelmed by news stories and information from around the world, the saddening stories of what some people are having to do. But just to imagine that you are so desperate to leave your livelihood, your home, your country to seek a better life should not be something a human being should have to do, but the sad reality is that this is happening. There are multiple factors causing the rise in refugees, from natural disasters, conflicts and political oppression and people are being segregated from the world, living in poor conditions, lacking food and lacking shelter. This is why it is so important that communities, organisations and charities come together to help provide essentials for those that need it.
Why not check out Give Your Best - an online platform where you can upload photos of your preloved clothes for women refugees to shop for free!
3. The cost of living has driven many into homelessnessWe all know that the cost of living has caused a burden of worry for anyone looking to buy a future home. It seems completely unachievable to consider buying a property in today's housing market, which is why so many people are being drawn to different methods of achieving this goal. But the effects can be devastating for some people, some of which have been left without homes and drawn to the streets. In July 2023 consumer prices were up by 6.8%. For vulnerable people this can and has been a difficult period, where those struggling mentally due to the rising costs are impacted more mentally by the additional stressors and worries. This is even more prominent for people living in rural areas, where a lack of government funding is leaving no option. It’s estimated that rough sleeping in rural areas has shot up by 24%.
4. Rising temperatures risks putting more vulnerable individuals in hospitalThe climate crisis is (as we’ve seen this year) causing many issues around the world, as the temperatures rise, more and more people are being affected by challenging living conditions. It is estimated that London’s homeless populations were 35% more likely to be admitted to hospital when the temperatures were 25°C compared to 6°C. Sleeping rough comes with challenges but when those challenges are also combined with weather conditions it is more important that people have access to essentials and shelter. Donations and support can help people without the ability to access those essentials to have a better chance at dealing with the additional climate crisis.
Next time you’re looking to do some good, check out a charity's Amazon wish list. You can donate items based on a needs list! Our regulars are AR Food Project & Street Kind UK!
5. With costs rising, getting access to basic essentials have been difficult for many people experiencing homelessness and refugees.
Many of those without a stable form of accommodation find it difficult to afford necessary essentials such as socks, underwear, food, personal hygiene items and more - and this has become particularly more challenging due to the cost of living crisis. This is why we have worked with a number of charities to help organise donations - each and every month we dedicate 5% of our overall revenue to go towards essential items for those in need. Here you can read about some of the charities we've worked with to donate items of essentials for those who need it the most.
Written by Calum Hill