COVID-19 has been pretty tough on a lot of businesses which has led people to being furloughed or let go. Unfortunately, there was also a very large number of people who have been evicted by landlords because they aren’t able to afford rent anymore. According to the Guardian more than 70,000 households have been made homeless since the start of the pandemic which leaves tens of thousands of people threatened with homelessness.
The housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, said “no one should lose their home as a result of the coronavirus epidemic”.
With that being said, for many years now people who are homeless have been stigmatised and stereotyped as alcoholics, addicts or even mentally ill. We feel it is important to break the stigma of homelessness because no one wakes up one morning and decides to become homeless. There are many unforeseen circumstances that push people into homelessness and that could be due to losing a job, lack of affordable housing, poverty, unemployment or sudden life events such as coming out of a bad relationship, family conflicts, domestic abuse or even a traumatic loss. To cope with such highly stressful life situations, many people turn to alcohol or drugs to self-medicate and from there spiral into addiction which puts us in no position to judge. With the prevalent stereotypes and stigmas that often dismiss those who are homeless and blame them for their living situations, we want to protect them and remind people that being homeless does not define who someone is. In most cases homelessness is a temporary circumstance.
We have been working and distributing socks to The People Project for a year now. The founder, Kate Shelley goes around London interviewing people who are homeless well as giving them a platform to share their personal stories.
This week we are hosting our ‘Don’t be too Quick to Judge’ campaign on Twitter and Instagram alongside The People Project by sharing stories of those who have been forced into homelessness due to unforeseen life events, losing a job or their homes during the pandemic. We hope this helps to raise a bit of awareness and shows that you should never be too quick to judge someone you walk past and don’t know.