Temporary Respite for Rough Sleepers
by Mark Cottington, Charities & NGO Consultant, Constructive Space.
In early October 2022, Constructive Space became aware of Sheltersuit. (Sheltersuit).
A Dutch organisation, specialising in the manufacture of weatherproof clothing and sleeping bags for the homeless. (“Homeless” in this case as people who either by necessity or choice are sleeping rough).
On reaching out to them we learned that, as with so many charity initiatives, the trigger was a story of loss.
Now this article isn’t about telling ‘that’ story. Really, it’s not ours to tell.
What is important though, is that on hearing it, we were compelled to look at the relationships we already have, to see where we might be able to contribute.
In 2022 the Office for National Statistics published the following:
“There were an estimated 741 deaths of homeless people in England and Wales registered in 2021, with a 95% confidence interval of 658 to 824 estimated deaths.”
This of course refers to all deaths, including around 40% (of this number) attributed to suicide, drug and alcohol related problems. It can’t identify those who may have succumbed exclusively to exposure. What it does make clear however, is that the problem is getting worse.
“The estimated number of deaths among homeless people has increased by 53.7% since the data time series began in 2013”.
The extent of our homeless related network is reasonably limited, despite our working with Non-Profits since the late 1970s.
Added to which, many focusing professionally on the issue, are inclined to see aiding rough sleepers, as a direct contradiction to their primary objective of getting them off of the streets.
The fact remains however, there are people out there, at risk, right now.
As part of our CSR initiative, we’ve been helping distribute and fund Sheltersuit’s across the UK through our charity partnerships. Can you help or keep a few in stock? If so drop us a line or get in touch directly:
Ian Sutherland McCook FRSA RIBA RIAS, Managing Director, Sheltersuit UK. www.sheltersuit.com