National bed retailer Dreams has announced a three-year partnership with housing and homelessness charity Shelter to raise funds and awareness to address the housing emergency.
The partnership is rooted in their shared belief that having a safe home with a bed of your own should be a fundamental human right. Across Britain, 17.5 million people are impacted by the housing emergency, living in homes that are unfit, unstable, or unaffordable, or where they have experienced discrimination. In England alone, 271,000 people are officially recorded as homeless, living in temporary accommodation, homeless hostels or forced to sleep rough.
Temporary accommodation is housing provided by the council when a person or household becomes homeless. It can take the form of emergency hostels and B&B rooms, one room bedsits and cramped flats, where families are often forced to share beds.
It is not designed for permanent living, but the lack of safe, secure and affordable homes means families are often trapped there for long periods. There are 95,000 households in England currently living in temporary accommodation, and more than two-thirds (68%) of homeless families in England have been living in temporary accommodation for over a year.
Dreams has committed to paying £150,000 to help fund Shelter’s essential work, with the overall ambition to raise much more than this together with colleagues, customers, and communities, over the course of the partnership. This money will support Shelter’s vital services, including its emergency helpline which gets nearly a thousand calls each day from people experiencing or at risk of some form of homelessness, including families stuck in temporary accommodation.
As the partnership, which is part of the retailer’s Force for Good strategic focus, evolves Dreams is set to:
- Offer in-store promotions for customers and point of sale contributions
- Share its retail expertise with the charity to help maximise the impact and effectiveness of Shelter’s charity shops
- Bring the reality of temporary accommodation to life through an immersive installation
- Further bolster fundraising and awareness through a mass participation sponsorship event
Jonathan Hirst, Dreams’ CEO, said: “At Dreams, we know the importance of having a safe and secure place to sleep and live. Without the foundations of a home, it’s impossible for people and communities to be the best they can be. Yet millions of people face that reality every day. We’re proud to be partnering with Shelter to help change that, and to make sure everyone can have the right to a safe home.”
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: “As the housing emergency deepens, our work has never been more critical. The lack of genuinely affordable social homes and rising rents, on top of the current cost of living crisis, threatens to tip even more people into homelessness.
“Our frontline advisers work tirelessly to help people in desperate situations, whether it’s a homeless family sharing one room in an emergency B&B or the person terrified of another night on the streets with just a tent to call home. Our partnership with Dreams will help us in our fight to make sure everyone has access to a safe and secure home, with a warm bed of their own.”
A Dreams colleague who has experienced homelessness, said: “My family and I experienced homelessness when, despite being in full time work, we were no longer able to cover our expenses. The time we spent in temporary accommodation was isolating, confusing and thankfully, is now behind us. However, for so many families this isn’t the case, with homelessness still dictating their present and future. That is why I’m so proud that Dreams is partnering with Shelter – both to raise awareness of the issue and to prompt important conversations that can often be so difficult to have.”