The East Midlands Shelter for the Homeless (EMSH). Who are we?
EMSH was formed in June 2016 as a direct result of the current housing crisis and it’s effect on cheap, affordable housing; in particular for our most vulnerable people in society who are becoming homeless every day. Working in Nottingham we noticed an increase in homeless camp sites on a daily basis, The annual homeless watch snapshot survey was carried out by HLG from 22nd Sept – 5th Oct 2014. A total of 536 homeless presentations were recorded across the City and County in a two week period, 1 in 5 of whom presented were sleeping rough.
Homelessness is legally described as:
“You have no home in the UK or anywhere else in the world available for you to occupy. You don’t have to be sleeping on the streets to be considered homeless.”
I am Craig Wells Founder of EMSH, as a person who has been homeless, both on the streets and “sofa surfing”; I know first hand the multitude of struggles that come with surviving like this. It’s a hugely complex situation to be in, both practically and emotionally.
Many who are homeless, have various life issues to cope with on top their living situation and so rather than be stigmatised and left alone; it’s my belief that these people need help as well as a flexible, bespoke support system in order to start addressing key problem areas in their lives.
As a former addict, who has suffered abuse, has a mental health diagnosis and real life experience of some of the issues that our tenants will or have faced.
I feel this puts me in a unique and emphatic position, I wish to use my own life experiences in order to help reduce suffering in others. Being homeless was the lowest point in my life and there were times all I needed was a little support. We want to give that support which I never had.
After numerous conversations with landlords it became clear that we could not only start to help address this issue in direct and real terms but that we could also provide a life changing experience for our service users by making them tenants.