Updated: Apr 9
Charing Cross, London
Last weekend Sezer Sherif, CEO of Vector Capital Group, took a group of volunteers into central London to help distribute boxes of essential survival items to people sleeping rough. Having spent Sunday morning collecting the incredibly generous donations that were offered in response to a Vector Capital Group social media appeal, Sezer arrived at Charing Cross London with a van packed full of clothes, food, toiletries, blankets and sleeping bags. Within moments of opening the doors the vehicle was surrounded by homeless men and women. With help from the colleagues and friends who volunteered their time, the donated items were handed out to those in need.
Christmas sees homelessness get increased exposure but for rough sleepers the struggle is all year round. An estimated 320,000 people are homeless in the UK, according to the latest research by Shelter. This equates to one in every 201 Brits and is an increase of 4% from last year.
Rough sleepers are just the visible tip of the iceberg when it comes to the homelessness crisis however. The widening net of poverty and the breakdown of mental health provision means numbers are growing. Between 4,000 and 5,000 people are on the streets on any given night, a figure that has almost doubled since 2010. We helped 60- 70 people with our hampers and survival kits last weekend, but the issue is nationwide and not improving.
A Thank You From Sezer...
"Just a quick note to say what a wonderful day today was. You have all been so involved from the very first message asking for help. The hugely generous donations and time taken to turn up and help the homeless. Whilst we have all had a humbling and rewarding day, I think we all agree the situation of homelessness is getting worse. This is heart-breaking. We helped between 60-70 people today which is something to be proud of. Our small efforts have been so impactful for others" Sezer Sherif, MCSI, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Vector Capital Group AG
Some Facts About Homelessness
Nearly 9,000 people sleep rough on the streets of London every year.
An estimated 726 people died while homeless in England and Wales in 2018 - an average of two every day.
The average age of death was just 45 for men and 43 for women, compared with 76 for men and 81 for women among the rest of the population.
A homeless rough sleeper is 9 times more likely to commit suicide than the average person.
Six in ten rough sleepers surveyed said they had been insulted by a member of the public, and one in ten said that they had been urinated on. We need to change attitudes towards homeless people – they have a right to be treated with the same respect as anyone else.
Homeless people are 17 times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than the general public, and 47 times more likely to be a victim of theft.
More than one in three have been deliberately been hit, kicked, or experienced some other form of violence while sleeping rough.
Three in ten female rough sleepers experience sexual violence at some point while homeless.
If you want to help fight homelessness then we suggest heading over to the Crisis website to find out more about their campaign and how to get involved.