35,000 face loss of home before Christmas
1 November 2011
An estimated 35,000 people across Britain face the prospect of losing their homes between now and Christmas.
The warning comes as Shelter’s Christmas campaign shows that every two minutes someone faces losing their home.
This could mean an estimated 35,000 people – 630 people a day - will receive a letter threatening the loss of their home between now and Christmas which could see them ending up in court, fighting to keep their home.
Shelter’s campaign features six families who were either homeless last Christmas or who are living under the threat of homelessness now.
Natalie became homeless last year and ended up in a hostel for six months with her young daughter. She explains: ‘When I found myself homeless at Christmas it truly was a real low point.
‘It’s not something you think you will ever have to go through but the reality is it can happen so easily. I became depressed and just couldn’t face each day with nowhere to call home.’
‘Thank goodness I am now out of that situation and have a permanent roof over my head. I really wouldn’t wish it on anyone.’
Shelter’s research shows that 61 per cent of people who have experienced homelessness or the threat of homelessness said that it directly led to a stress related illness, while 70 percent said they spent most of their time worrying about it.
The research also explored how the general public would feel if they were to face losing their home. When asked to rate the severity of certain life experiences, being threatened with homelessness came out as a more severe experience than being burgled, assaulted, or having to fight a custody battle for children following divorce.
Shelter’s Chief Executive Campbell Robb said:
‘This research shows the shocking impact that homelessness has on people’s lives. We know only too well that being made homelessness, or living each day under the constant threat of homelessness, is an horrific experience that can tear families apart.
‘And with someone facing losing their home every two minutes, the reality is this is a fate that could happen to any one of us. All it takes is one small thing, such as an illness or financial trouble, and things can soon spiral out of control.
It’s possible that 35,000 people could face this prospect between now and Christmas Day.’
Mr Robb continued: ‘That’s why we need everyone’s support in the coming months, so we can help all those people who face the possibility of losing their home.’