Esther Sample is St Mungo’s Women’s Strategy Coordinator. Here she explains more about this new role.
About a quarter of our 1,700 plus St Mungo’s residents are women. That’s also a general reflection of the figures at national level – when it comes to homelessness, it’s not 50:50.
But are there particular reasons why women become homeless? And do women need different kinds of support to help them rebuild their lives?
Over the last year or so, we’ve been talking to our women clients, asking them questions about their situations and seeing what support they tell us works for them.
The main findings were:
- A high percentage of women at St Mungo’s have experienced domestic violence and/or childhood or adolescent abuse and need support for these issues.
- Many St Mungo’s female clients are mothers. Some would like more support around the loss of children or contact with children.
- Women want a choice of accommodation, some prefer women’s only provision, and some prefer mixed. In mixed accommodation, situations where women form a very small minority were seen as less preferable.
- Women value clean, private, safe and homely accommodation.
- A wide variety of activities and training, and opportunities for women’s client involvement were also seen as important.
We already have some innovative projects to support women but we’ve learnt a lot, and we’ll be telling you more about our research, and strategy in the months ahead. St Mungo’s has succeeded in gaining funding for my post as Women’s Strategy Coordinator and I am now setting out a clear plan for how we can support our women clients even more effectively in the future.
We’re also pleased to be working with international photographer Georgina Cranston on the Wherefrom?Wherenow? multimedia project that focuses on women’s experiences of homelessness.
To contact me, please email email@example.com