Homelessness charity on homeless women being hidden from help
International Women’s Day is on Tuesday 8th March 2022, and this year focuses around not just celebrating women, but breaking the cycle of bias, stereotypes and discrimination to ensure a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
Homeless and rough sleeping women are the hidden homeless. Despite academic and policy knowledge generated about homelessness being dominated by the experiences of men, recognition is growing that women’s homelessness is worth scrutiny.
Women rough sleep in the Chichester and Arun districts. However, it is inherently hidden because being a visible rough sleeper on the streets is dangerous, therefore, safety is a key motivation for women to remain hidden and goes against the misconception that rough sleepers are thought to sleep mainly in doorways, town centres, and other visible locations.
An assumption based on the rough sleeping strategies of men. Consequently, hiding from harm can mean that women are often hidden from help. Local Authorities conduct street counts for the number of people sleeping rough per night and are typically focussed on town centres and known rough sleeper sites.
With efforts concentrating on areas that rough sleepers are ‘known’ to use, the 2019 official rough sleeper count in England only 14% of rough sleepers recorded were women.
Stonepillow support for homeless women and partners
Stonepillow aims to ensure that the community of hidden homeless women are given a voice, provided with safe housing, and supported on their journey to independent living through equality of access to our services.
They have a variety of housing options, from their Women’s Therapeutic Service, 24-hour Hostels, Supported Accommodation, and street-based support team. Stonepillow works in partnership with My Sister’s House, YADA, Mind and other organisations to offer individual person-led support to empower women to a life they want to live.
In 2020 Stonepillow supported 117 homeless women, but there are more out there who need support back into safety. The Therapeutic Women’s Service, is a safe space for single homeless women with multiple needs, providing sanctuary and access to specialist support for some of the most vulnerable females in local communities.
This service enables women to rebuild their lives by providing a therapeutic environment to help improve their health and wellbeing, leading to sustainable independence. If you would like to help support this to help support and empower homeless people in the community, visit the Stonepillow website www.stonepillow.org.uk