This month we’re using a month-long celebration to highlight homelessness in our local area.
National Bed Month, celebrated each March, is organised by the National Sleep Council.
The initiative seeks to highlight the importance of a good nights sleep and how having the right bed can help. But if you don’t have a bed at all, how can you get a good night’s sleep?
National Bed Month prompted our teams to start conversations about local homelessness.
We currently have 174 bedspaces within our services across Stoke-on-Trent. That means 174 people, who have been impacted by homelessness, have a warm bed every single night.
This figure consists of men, women and young people who have all faced homelessness for a number of different reasons. This includes fleeing domestic abuse, experiencing complex needs, addiction, mental health issues, leaving the care system and experiencing relationship or family breakdowns.
Service Manager Dean Marsh leads our Stoke-on-Trent community housing service.
Dean said: “National Bed Month is normally celebrated by bed companies and sleep experts, but we wanted to completely turn it around and highlight a really important issue instead.
“At Concrete we see the extent of homelessness in our city day in, day out. It’s not new to us, but it never gets less shocking.
“We’re proud of the work that we do and we’re glad that we’re here for those in need – but it’s sad that we need to be.”
We provide people with safe and comfortable places to sleep, but the support doesn’t end there.
“It’s not just about giving someone a bed,” added Dean.
“That’s the first step, but to help people break the cycle of homelessness and change their lives for the better, we have to offer that wraparound support too. That’s what we do at Concrete.
“For our young people, it’s about teaching them how to budget and run a home of their own. We also encourage them to explore career and training opportunities.
“We help adults get back on their feet and learn how to manage their own tenancy. We also work with partners to resolve any complex needs they might have, including poor mental health and addiction.
“All of these things contribute to breaking the cycle of homelessness, which works towards our mission of making homelessness history.”