Crisis At Christmas

Making all the difference at Christmas

It's a special time of year for Michelle because thanks to Crisis, the national homelessness charity, she will be spending the festive season in her own home.


11 December 2023

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Michelle is counting down the days to Christmas, putting up decorations and making plans.

It’s a special time of year but even more so for Michelle because thanks to Crisis, the national homelessness charity, she will be spending the festive season in her own home.

Every Christmas for over 50 years, Crisis has been there to support people who are facing or at risk of homelessness – and 2023 is no different.

Michelle was referred to the charity in December last year, after spending six months sleeping rough when her rent became unaffordable. It is where, she says, everything changed.

Michelle said: “This time last year, I had no home. I couldn’t afford my rent anymore and I didn’t have any support.

“It’s hard to ask for help. But after six months of sleeping rough I knew I had to. Looking back, it was the most important step I took.

“The first time I walked into Crisis, the people were so welcoming. They actually looked me in the eye! It’s funny, but that’s the kind of thing you really miss. Because on the streets, you don’t talk to anyone.

“Having someone in your corner makes all the difference. I look back now, and that first day with them was my last day on the streets.

“Straight away, I felt settled. There was no judgement, just understanding. I had a hot meal to keep me going. They put me up in a hotel, where I could sit and be safe. It was like a weight had been lifted.

“I spent Christmas Day 2022 with Crisis and we had Christmas food, there was karaoke, bingo – I even got my nails done. I felt human again.”

Having somewhere safe to stay and access to vital help and support, Michelle was able to get the stability she needed to look forward.
With the help of her lead worker Kate who, Michelle says, was by her side from day one, she has found a permanent home and is now focusing on the future and training as a bereavement counsellor.

Michelle explained: “In March, I moved into my new home. And I can’t wait to spend Christmas there this year. Even now I can’t stop checking I’ve got my keys – I haven’t had my own keys for so long! Crisis helped me furnish it, so I could really make it my own. Feeling settled has helped me focus on what’s next.”

On any given night across Britain, tens of thousands of families and individuals are experiencing homelessness.

That’s why it’s more important than ever for Crisis to be there to provide essential support to people who need it most.

Crisis has received more than £12 million in funding raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and through their frontline services, will support over 7,000 people to find their own stable home and access education and training.

This Christmas, through their hotels, Crisis will ensure more than 590 people, who would otherwise be sleeping rough, have somewhere safe to stay during one of the toughest times of the year.

By providing people with their own room and a case worker for one-to-one support, Crisis are seeing fewer people return to life on the streets.

And with the help of many generous supporters – not least the vital funding raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery – and the charity’s dedicated volunteers, it means that Crisis are able to provide companionship, support and a wide range of vital services not just at Christmas, but all year round.