20 February 2017
Bristol Homelessness Awareness Week
What happens if you
can't meet your rent or mortgage this month? Do you have a safety
net? In Bristol one in four rough sleepers ended up on the streets
after being evicted.
And now, a range of organisations and charities working to
tackle homelessness in the city are joining forces yet again to
encourage people who think they might be in trouble to seek early
advice and support before they reach crisis point.
The Bristol Homelessness Awareness Week (18-25 February) aims to
raise awareness of homelessness, those at risk of becoming homeless
and the issues facing rough sleepers. This year the specific focus
is on help and early intervention. The aim is to encourage people
to look out for each other, spot the early warning signs and take
The week got get underway with a multi-media exhibition entitled
Cause and Complexity which features contributions from a range of
local artists, including those with a personal experience of
homelessness. The exhibition, at The Island Gallery Space on
Nelson Street, aims to engage both artist and viewer with diverse
causes and often complex circumstances which can lead to and
Other highlights of the week
During the week, 18 freestanding mirrors will pop up in The
Galleries, Cabot Circus and City Hall encouraging people to take a
closer look at their mental health, relationships and finances. The
messaging will ask people to take a good look at their own
circumstances and consider what they would do if they found
themselves in trouble. Ultimately the mirrors aim to encourage
people to take early action if they think there is any chance they
could be in danger of becoming homeless.
The week will culminate in the annual sponsored Sleep Out, which
is being organised by the Bristol Homeless Forum. Around 250 people
are expected to take part in the event at the Pip 'n Jay Church
from 10pm on Friday 24 February.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, comments that no-one should be
faced with homelessness in Bristol, adding that we need to make
sure that people who find themselves in difficulty are able to get
Bristol City Council is one of a number of organisations across
Bristol working on a one city approach to ending homelessness
through both short term solutions and long term change. Rough
sleeping is not the only form of homelessness and the organisations
involved are trying to do more to prevent all forms of homelessness
by early intervention with those at risk.
David Ingerslev, Rough Sleeping Service Manager for St Mungo's
says: "We have made some great progress in supporting people off
the streets and there is still much more to do. Homelessness
is everyone's responsibility and there are things we can all do to
prevent difficulties reaching crisis point.
"There is help available for finances, relationships and mental
health that can prevent homelessness but the trick is to seek help
as early as possible."
There is a whole range of services available to help people
worried about losing their home - but it is vital to make people
aware that it is important to act before it is too late. Further
information about the help available for anyone who is homeless or
at risk of becoming homeless is available at the council's