The Clock Tower Sanctuary is the only drop-in service providing information, advice and support to young homeless people. Open six days a week, the charity acts as a safe space for homeless 16-25 year olds and gives them a chance to engage with their peers and other visiting agencies. They have crisis support services including access to food, showers, laundry, computers, telephones, postal address and dentist visits to help young people cope with the practical problems that come with homelessness. They also have one-to-one case working as well as life skills and mentoring schemes with the goal of being able to live independently.
Many of the people The Clock Tower Sanctuary help are young people who have come from broken or dysfunctional homes. Some of their early experiences include neglect and/or abuse, as well as experiencing the effects of alcohol or drug dependence and violence. Many young, homeless people rarely have funds, are separated from friends and family and lack knowledge, skills and confidence to stay safe and deal with terrifying situations. Last year The Clock Tower Sanctuary had 253 clients who visited their service 7,746 times, they cooked 4,488 hot meals and 12 of their clients secured employment. They anticipate that the number of clients will increase due to the austerity measures being put in place including the potential move to restrict housing benefit for 18-21 year olds.
In the UK, the average life expectancy for a male rough sleeper is 47 years old, and 43 years old for women (Crisis, 2011). The Clock Tower Sanctuary work with young people who are at the critical period in their transition into adulthood, and their work prevents them becoming part of the statistic. There are many ways in which you can help out with this charity, from donating to volunteering. They are currently recruiting volunteers and you can find out more about that here. According to Brighton and Hove City Council, the South East has the highest rate of homeless applications second to London, and 83,000 young people experience homelessness every year. This winter, the charity are expected to support over 1000 visits by homeless young people. They have launched their Christmas appeal, where just £5 could pay for a young person to have a shower, wash their clothes and have a hot meal prepared for them. The Clock Tower Sanctuary are a very important charity, particularly in times of austerity and it’s vital that young homeless people get the support they need to get back on their feet. To find out more about the charity, go to their website here. You can also follow the Sanctuary on Twitter @thectsbrighton and like them on Facebook by clicking here. If there’s a charity you think we should be covering for charity Tuesday, don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org