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B4H guests playing games on the Dining bus

Creating opportunities to transform the lives of people experiencing homelessness

World Homeless Day takes place on 10th October every year to draw attention to the needs of people who experience homelessness and create opportunities for communities to respond to homelessness in their local areas.

This year, Empowering Communities partners marked the day through work with local charities to focus on their needs during the pandemic. In London, rough sleeping increased by one third during the first lockdown, while charities have had to adapt their services to social distancing and other restrictions.

Activities included:

  • Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture (SCS JV) held a webinar for their staff with Euston’s New Horizon Youth Centre and the charity, Buses4Homeless. This raised awareness of the impact of COVID-19 on the charities’ delivery of their face-to-face services and discussed opportunities to help people back into work. SCS JV host four decommissioned London buses that support the Buses4Homeless programme in North Acton and have recruited participants from their programme.
  • HS2 joined forces with the wider rail industry to support Rail Aid, an initiative to support the work of the charity Railway Children with vulnerable young people during the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • Network Rail partnered with five charities to launch a national Routes out of Homelessness initiative to support a route out of homelessness for every person sleeping rough around the rail network. This programme will include a number of events to raise awareness for the charities, as well as fundraising and a new outreach programme at stations.

These are a snapshot of the initiatives Empowering Communities partners are delivering in partnership with local charities to tackle homelessness, provide local jobs and leave a lasting social legacy.