Homeless life expectancy is 47 years: something needs to be done

UCL student-run charity is helping those on the streets

The Street Store London led by UCLU charity Make London Home is a great initiative raising awareness of an everyday struggle faced by thousands of Londoners.

Homelessness remains a real pressing issue in London. Every year approximately 8,000 people in London, and a staggering 400,000 nationwide, are forced to sleep rough on the streets. Homelessness is a very unforgiving and dangerous predicament, exposed to the elements and 13 times more likely to be a victim of violent crime, a rough sleeper is 35 times more likely to commit suicide than the average person.

People from a wide variety of backgrounds face homelessness, those made redundant, mental health sufferers or victims of domestic abuse are some of the reasons. Recent studies estimate that the average life expectancy of a homeless person is 47 years as opposed to 81 years for the average U.K citizen.

The rough-sleepers seen on the street form only a fraction, with many out of public view in hostels, temporary accommodation or moving between friends’ houses.

As Winter approaches, life is only set to toughen for the homeless

With the harsh winter weather, the hardship and suffering experienced by homeless people is only set to worsen. After months of fundraising and preparation, UCLU charity Make London Home hopes to raise awareness about homelessness through its flagship event The Street Store London.

The Street Store is a phenomenon which has its roots in South Africa and has consequently spread all over the world from Buenos Aires to Kuala Lumpur. The first Street Store launched in London in 2015 and raised awareness and provided a helping hand to the thousands of homeless Londoners.

Unlike organisations that simply distribute clothing to homeless people on a purely random basis, The Street Store London places strong value on everyone’s quirkiness and individuality. Make London Home wants to challenge the neglect and inattention homeless people receive.

Volunteers at the first London Street Store in 2015

At the event there will be an assorted variety of donated clothing available, giving homeless people the opportunity to browse through and try on clothes according to their individual taste.

Taking place on Saturday 21 January in Shoreditch, Street Store London will also have a street kitchen set up alongside the clothing area. If you have any spare unwanted winter clothing available, please donate by contacting Jueni Tran on 07928568555. Make London Home are looking to provide as diverse an assortment of clothing as possible to make the day as enjoyable as possible.

The Street Store London takes place between 10:00 and 17:00 on Saturday 21st January 2017 at Black Gates, Hassard Street in Shoreditch E2 7RD, the nearest station being Hoxton Station.

More details on the event can be found here.