A social enterprise transforming the lives of homeless people has launched a £50,000 Crowdfunder
The drive by inspirational soap-maker Labre’s Hope, based in Yorkshire, comes as high energy bills, the cost of living crisis and the end of the Covid eviction ban are expected to impact on homelessness figures.
Nationally, there has been a 24 per cent rise in the number of households with children facing homelessness.
In London, the number of people sleeping rough has soared by nearly a quarter, and charity Crisis expects 66,000 extra people will be on the streets by 2024.
Labre’s Hope was created by Aaron Probert after he met a homeless woman on a Sheffield street five years ago and heard her heart-breaking story.
He said: “There is a perfect storm of factors all hitting people simultaneously which can only lead to more homelessness.
“We’ve seen some of our workers being asked to pay six months rent in advance which is impossible, even for people in high income jobs.“It’s been incredible to see how we’ve helped people break the cycle of homelessness and change their lives through employment, but we need to do more.
“We want to continue our work in South Yorkshire and eventually expand right across the country.
“People who are able to back our Crowdfunder will become part of our journey and have a powerful impact on the lives of vulnerable people in society.”
Labre’s Hope is the UK’s first organisation of its kind, paying people experiencing homelessness a living wage to create planet-friendly soaps and candles.
Its team needs to raise £50,000 to continue and expand their work nationally once their initial Government funding runs out at the end of December.
Hand-made vegan soaps and soap or candle making experiences will be among the rewards available in return for donations. And donations of up to £250 will be match funded by insurance company Aviva.
Danny Wathall is one of the formerly homeless people whose life has been turned around thanks to Labre’s Hope – he now teaches soap making to others.
He said: “Anybody can become homeless – I should know, it happened to me.
“In 2019 I ended up homeless, sleeping in sheds, sometimes beds. I got in touch with mental health services who put in touch with some support then everything changed thanks to Labre’s Hope.”
The Crowdfunder is live at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/labres-hope—ending-homelessness-sustainably
Labre’s Hope is named after the patron saint of homelessness Saint Benedict Joseph Labre. It received £500,000 from the Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund but those funds must be spent by December 2022.
Labre’s Hope products are eco-friendly with biodegradable packaging.
Watch the Crowdfunder video here