On a December's day in 2017, a crowd has formed with mobile phones primed to film young people in sleeping bags on a cold Exeter City Centre pavement. It is not what you think; these mobile phones, expertly held by parents and onlookers, are ready to capture a flash dance by Urban Flow Street Dance to kick off an awareness day for Nightstop Devon.
There is a sliding scale around homelessness – someone in temporary accommodation is technically homeless, but clearly in a better situation than someone sleeping rough. The various ‘degrees’ of homelessness require different responses, and Devon has wonderfully diverse agencies set up to help people in very different situations.
I often wonder if the sheer volume of special ‘days’ in the calendar are necessary (World Octopus Day anyone?) Similarly, the number of awareness weeks and months is growing, as the internet makes it easier and easier to share information and promote the latest cause.
As our new website develops, we hope to share more detail about what we do, who we support and what impact we have. In turn, we can then share with you what help we need, and why. As of today (30 September 2017), some specific areas where CHA would welcome your help:
There are many wise-folk that can provide an academic answer to this question, and (sadly) hundreds of thousands of individuals who can speak from personal experience about what homelessness feels like.