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Sarah M

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Sarah M

Job description: Policy and Parliamentary Officer at Crisis

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Areas of interest: Housing and homelessness – services for women with complex needs

Sarah M's Recent Activity

"Services for women at Crisis Research carried out on behalf of Crisis has shown that women who are homeless are often extremely vulnerable and can take desperate measures to get a roof over their head. ‘The Hidden Truth About Homelessness’ shows that 28% of homeless women have entered an unwanted sexual partnership to gain a bed for the night, and 19% have engaged in sex work. Over half (54%) have experienced violence or abuse from a partner and rates of mental health problems were higher for women than for men. http://www.crisis.org.uk/data/files/publications/HiddenTruthAboutHomelessness_web.pdf Crisis provides services that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of homeless women. We have a dedicated Women’s Progression Co-ordinator, specialising in helping vulnerably housed or homeless women rebuild their confidence and create opportunities for moving forward. At Crisis Skylight London, our Women’s Zone project uses a whole floor of the building once a week to provide a women-only space providing a range of activities for homeless and vulnerably housed women. This service was created about 6 years ago as some women felt intimidated by the male dominated environments that are often round in homelessness services. The aim of the Women’s Zone is to create a safe, friendly and inspirational space for women to engage in classes and develop their skills. The services and classes change each term depending on what the women have expressed in interest in. Coming up in September classes include self defence, fashion, storytelling, a textile project and a creative arts class. As well as the classes, the Women’s Progression Co-ordinator works one to one with female clients on their long and short term goals. This can be around building confidence, finding secure accommodation, getting support with benefits or immigration or engaging in further learning, such as college. Our Skylight Centres also offer mental health support and counselling for women, with female counsellors, alongside wellbeing activities such as yoga. We have a Crisis at Christmas Centre exclusively for vulnerable homeless women. As well as providing accommodation, hot meals, company and entertainment over the festive period, it gives women the opportunity to access health and other services and to get advice from trained professionals on a wide range of issues. We also aim to connect women to year round services to help them rebuild their lives in the New Year."
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