World Homeless Day is observed internationally on the 10th October every year.
New research from Shelter shows at least 271,000 people are recorded as homeless in England, including 123,000 children.
When we delve a bit deeper into the statistics we see that one in 208 people in England are without a home. Of these, 2,400 people are sleeping rough on any given night, 15,000 people are in hostels or supported accommodation and nearly 250,000 are living in temporary accommodation – most of whom are families.
Shelter’s detailed analysis of official homelessness figures and responses to a Freedom of Information request shows that one in 208 people in England are without a home. Of these, 2,400 people are sleeping rough on any given night, 15,000 people are in hostels or supported accommodation and nearly 250,000 are living in temporary accommodation – most of whom are families.
Shelter is issuing an urgent appeal for public support as it braces for a sharp rise in homelessness in 2023. An average of 1,000 calls per day are made to the charity’s emergency helpline, of which almost eight in ten callers are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless – a figure which has increased by 8% since last year.
April's Garden by Isla McGuckin and Catalina Echeverri is a sensitively told story, unafraid to take on challenging themes. April and her mum have to leave their home in a hurry and move to a refuge. Reminding us all of the importance of hope, April waits for the seeds she has sown to grow, sending up green shoots and with them the healing power of nature.
The Invisible by Tom Percival is a vital picture book for society today – with an emphasis on family and belonging. When poverty affects her family, Isabel starts to feel invisible – an uplifting story about seeing our neighbours and belonging.
This along with It's a No-Money Day is a brilliant book to help start conversations about poverty. This heart-breaking child’s eye view of life below the poverty line packs a real emotional and political punch.
To help raise awareness of and empathy for those living in poverty and the plight of the homeless, we have created a collection of books for the children in your life.
Sofa Surfer by Malcolm Duffy is an important and empathetic portrayal of teenage homelessness. Here, young adult readers will be confronted with the terrifying reality of how easily young people can slip under the radar and lose the safety net of a home to go to.
No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen is another must-read. Despite being a story of homelessness and poverty, it will leave readers cheered and thoroughly reassured about the strength and resilience of the human spirit.
The Night Bus Hero by Onjali Q Rauf is another compelling read. When a prank on a homeless person gets out of hand this leads to Hector being befriended - somewhat reluctantly at first, by Mei-Li – who introduces Hector to the shelter she helps in and thus to an understanding of some of the pressures and causes of homelessness. An important social message for all – but this book is also a who-done-it trying to solve mysterious, slightly odd crimes whilst the graffiti left at the scenes of these crimes seem to indicate that homeless people are involved in some way.
Elizabeth Laird writes about homelessness of a different kind in The Garbage King, the story of young boys living on the streets of Addis Abba. These homeless children, and those in Andy Mulligan’s Trash who similarly make a living sifting through the rubbish dumps of the city, are not homeless because of a major political upheaval but because of global inequality that has left many around the world without safe homes.
If you are looking for book recommendations based more on migration and homelessness, check out our Refugees Collection. Otherwise, scroll below and find your next book.