LDHAS - Responding to Rising Costs & Homelessness

by Jim Robinson in Lancaster, England, United Kingdom

LDHAS - Responding to Rising Costs & Homelessness
We did it
On 27th January 2023 we successfully raised £16,966 ( + est. £1202.50 Gift Aid ) with 100 supporters in 84 days

To provide essential items and casework for homeless & vulnerably-housed people, to ensure financial inclusion as the costs of living rise.

by Jim Robinson in Lancaster, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Any extra funding raised will contribute directly to the core costs of our organisation, ensuring clients have a safe and welcoming environment, free from judgement, where they can access support.

LDHAS provides daily essentials (including free food, hygiene products, and clothing) and in-depth casework and advice for the homeless and vulnerably housed in the Lancaster District, covering an area of over 577 square-km.

"Homelessness" comprises people who are: vulnerably housed; placed in temporary emergency accommodation; or sleeping on the street without a roof over their heads. Centre-users range in age, race, gender, and level of mental/physical need. Our service is designed to support people into accommodation and provide a person-centred approach that builds on individuals’ strengths whilst addressing their most pressing, immediate needs.

Homelessness can happen to anyone.

Whatever you can spare will help those suffering homelessness and extreme poverty access:

  • Support with rising costs of living
  • Breakfasts and lunches
  • Clothing
  • Showers and hygiene products
  • Laundry
  • IT and banking facilities
  • Mental health support
  • Assistance with substance abuse and addiction
  • Nurses and Hepatitis C treatments

Homeless and poverty in cost of living crisis north west england. Sleeping on street in cold winter. homelessness, poverty cost of living, energy prices, homeless shelter

The cost of living 

As the cost of living crisis and rising energy prices put immense pressure on people, one in four adults have become financially vulnerable, and the number of those at risk continues to grow.

Those with low wages/salaries (or no employment at all) have gone from “struggling to get by” to “not getting by” and LDHAS is already seeing an increase in the daily attendance of clients and in the number of phone calls from people seeking advice or support.

During this uncertain winter, LDHAS is seeking funds from those fortunate enough to spare donations. It is essential we provide a friendly, warm, and safe environment, free of judgment, for vulnerable people and those whose lives are in crisis, and this is only possible with the generous contributions of donors.

LDHAS homeless dog north west winter cost of living crisis, energy prices forcing people into poverty.

Who are our clients?

The majority of clients have complex needs, usually the result of distressing experiences they have suffered or poor mental health; as a result, our most requested forms of casework support are “mental health/emotional support” followed by “housing advice”. LDHAS staff provide more than support with tenancies; they represent a holistic network of support.

Research shows that homeless people face problems far beyond the lack of a suitable home; many of our clients face social disadvantages with reduced access to both public and private services (including health care, education, and banking facilities). Additionally, our clients are at an increased risk of suffering from violence and abuse.

Neighbourhoods within the district rank amongst the most deprived areas in the UK on the “Indices of Deprivation”. For example, Lancaster 009C LSOA (i.e. neighbourhood code) ranks #33 out of 32,844 LSOAs in England, where 1 is the most deprived.

How do we operate?

LDHAS operates a non-appointment policy, providing a wide range of facilities and services at our base in Lancaster. Anyone who comes through our doors can access services to meet their immediate needs, ranging from hot food to receiving support from staff on a one-to-one basis. 

We utilise a triage approach, wherein all clients are assessed and an initial plan is put into place, beginning with meeting the most pressing needs. The plan includes housing, health and social care, finances, and work and educational issues, with planned actions and outcomes.

Homeless Hub

LDHAS also operates as a "Homeless Hub" through the integration of partner agencies in our centre. 

As the needs of homeless and impoverished people become increasingly complex, it is important they can meet with specialists to widen their network of support. This is where our partner agencies come in! While LDHAS staff are able to provide in-depth casework and support, regarding a wide range of issues, the added benefit of drug & alcohol specialists, medical staff, and housing rights experts cannot be overstated. For example, LDHAS provides free office spaces for the Hepatitis C Trust, Citizens Advice Bureau, Inspire (drug recovery service), a nurse, Council-appointed Floating Support Officers, and Red Rose Recovery, all under one roof; given the chaotic lifestyles of many clients it can be very difficult for them to make and keep to appointments, so having everything in a single location, on a drop-in basis, has significantly increased their levels of engagement.

Lancaster & District Homeless Action Service charity logo

Charity number: 1093016

Homeless & Housing Centre,
Edward Street,

Phone: 01524842008

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