"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me." – Matthew 25:35-36 (ESV)

As we step towards the winter of 2023/24, these words from the Bible in Matthew 25 resonate profoundly. Homelessness, particularly rough sleeping, remains a glaring issue in our society. The facts are stark:

An Alarming Increase: In November 2022, official figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities revealed that the number of rough sleepers counted on a single night in England stood at 3,069. This marked a disheartening 26% rise compared to the same period in the previous year.

Unprecedented Efforts: The past three years have seen remarkable initiatives like the 'Everybody In' scheme, 'the Protect Programme,' and 'Protect and Vaccinate,' all aimed at ending rough sleeping. These initiatives demonstrated what collective action could achieve, but they also highlighted the urgency of this issue.

A Crisis Amidst Progress: The surge in rough sleeping figures during a period of significant investment and concerted effort is unsettling. It underscores the need for sustained action and commitment from communities, organisations, and individuals alike.

#HomelessSunday2023: This year, Homeless Sunday falls on the 8th of October. It serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to address rough sleeping. 

Derby City Mission: A Beacon of Hope

In the face of this crisis, we believe organisations like ourselves at Derby City Mission are more vital than ever. Over the years, as we built up an array of experience tackling the challenges of rough sleeping, we have set up a number of initiatives that support those who find themselves in such challenging situations. 

Safe Space: Our Safe Space initiative offers year-round warm refuge during harsh nights. It's a lifeline for those who would otherwise be exposed to the elements. More than just a roof, it's a place where individuals can find understanding, compassion, and the first steps toward a better life.

My Place: Our My Place team are working closely with partner agencies to ensure those who are leaving prison are able to resettle back into society without slipping through the gaps and ending up on the streets. 

Our Ark: This year, we embarked on a remarkable journey, one that showcases what dedication and community spirit can achieve. The Ark, our brand-new emergency accommodation, opened its doors earlier in 2023. With eight bedrooms and shared facilities, it's not just about shelter; it's about creating spaces where individuals can regain their footing, find stability, and rebuild their lives.

How You Can Help

In this journey to end rough sleeping, your support matters immensely. Whether it's a donation, volunteering your time, or simply raising awareness about the issue, every action counts. Together, we can ensure that more people find warmth, comfort, and hope this year.

So, on this Homeless Sunday and beyond, let us remember that homelessness isn't someone else's problem—it's everyone's concern. Let's work together to create a society where everyone has a place to call home.

Join us in making 2023 a year of change, compassion, and hope. Together, we can end rough sleeping.

Donate towards our projects that support the lives of people rough sleeping in Derby.