Over more than 30 years of work Nightwatch has empowered and assisted thousands of homeless vulnerable people to turn around their lives, from being homeless and unemployed, to re-settling and providing them with a stable, enriched life. For others, we have supplied a constant, caring presence in lives which are too often fragmented and uncertain.
Our clients are typically adult males. They frequently have an institutional background in such places as children’s homes, hospitals, penal institutions, and the armed services. A sizeable minority suffers from drug and alcohol problems but the majority are caught in a poverty trap of benefits and institutional life.
There are more black British people than in the general population in Croydon – 28% among our clients as against 13% for the borough as a whole (the most recent census). People with the more concealed disabilities such as deafness, poor sight and epilepsy are over-represented. Women represent some 10% of the total but generally remain homeless for a shorter time.
We now see far fewer asylum seekers than we did a few years ago, but more Eastern Europeans who have come looking for work.
Over the past few years we have seen more people who have work and somewhere to live, but who cannot afford food after paying for rent and energy. These problems of high rents, and fuel costs and low wages are serious and worsening.
Click here to learn about Wayne, who has benefitted from Nightwatch’s work.
Click here to see photos of people that we help and of our volunteers.
You can learn more about our work in the Nightwatch Annual Report 2017.