Homelessness & Housing

Homelessness is currently one of Bristol’s greatest challenges. The significant rise in people sleeping rough (97 in the 2015 official count) is the visible sign of the housing crisis. Christian charities and the church have much to offer the vulnerable.

The challenge

Suitable housing for all those that want it is in short supply in Bristol. Private rented properties have increased in cost whilst standards of repair have fallen. Social housing stock is reducing and increasingly difficult to secure in new build programmes. The housing pathway for those who need Council support has blockages at every stage.

Homelessness, whether visible on the street or hidden (sofa surfing, squatting etc.) has increased significantly. Welfare reform, family and relationship breakdown, domestic abuse, addiction and poor mental health all contribute to a challenging mix of issues that people from all walks of life face.

The demands on the statutory bodies: local authority and their commissioned service providers, have increased to the point where many recognise that new approaches are urgently needed.

Something is wrong when the 10th largest and 3rd most affluent city in the UK has the 2nd highest number of rough sleepers.

The response

Considerable progress has been made in recent times on partnership working across the statutory, commissioned, charity, faith and commerce sectors. It requires an open handed, non-critical approach.

  • Crisis Centre Ministries. A Christian charity established in Bristol for over 30 years ago, dedicated to helping those with life disrupting problems, such as homelessness and addiction, to enjoy a healthy independent life. www.crisis-centre.org.uk

  • Methodist Centre Bristol. Seeks to be a Christian community where people feel welcome and safe, sustained in their daily lives and nurtured in growing and changing. It has been offering shelter, sanctuary and support to the homeless, vulnerable and excluded for almost 30 years. www.methodist-centre.org.uk

  • Bristol Soup Run Trust. A unique organisation in Britain that operates a soup run every night of the year for the homeless and others in need, in Bristol. www.bristolsoupruntrust.org.uk

  • Bristol Homeless Forum. The forum is open to any individual or organisation working with homeless people and homelessness issues in Bristol. www.bristolhf.org.uk

    The Julian Trust. Operating for over 30 years, the Trust runs an emergency night shelter with 18 beds in a converted warehouse. www.juliantrust.org.uk


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