As Chief Executive of Evolve I am fortunate enough to meet the inspiring people we work with on a regular basis. I am able to hear first-hand and from colleagues just what tough circumstances many of our beneficiaries have overcome. Our survey this year revealed that 80% of the people we work with have experienced childhood trauma, for many that means physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
This difficult start in life is then compounded by them experiencing homelessness which means they often have physical and mental health issues as a legacy from their time sleeping rough. In fact we know that 80% have a mental health problem.
However, our asset based approach, health and wellbeing and counselling programmes offer a variety of tailored support options to the people we work with, meaning that by the time I meet someone using our services or living in our properties they are often already well on their way to a healthy and happy independent life.
We know a night sleeping out in BOXPARK CROYDON cannot come close to the experiences of people who sleep rough. The lack of security, safety, dignity, access to hot water, toilets and other basic things that you or I take for granted – and the knock-on effects on their mental health and aspirations – but by undertaking this challenge I am able to raise awareness of the plight of the people we support and also raise vital funds for homelessness services.
Funding for these services has come under increasing pressure, and I want to thank all the people in our community who care about this issue enough to join us on the Sleep Out and to take this practical step to raise money and help us end the cycle of homelessness.