Hh
H = Homeless. Adults with the lowest level of literacy are the most likely to be unemployed by age 23. Explore the Alphabet of Illiteracy

...is for Homeless

Reading and writing can keep people off the streets. Adults with the lowest level of literacy enter the workplace earliest, but are also the most likely to be unemployed by 23, often leading to homelessness. In the UK half of homeless people are illiterate. Literacy can lead people away from hopeless situations.

St Mungo’s Broadway London (2014)

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How our partners have helped.

The Big Issue has created a partnership with Poached Creative, and together work tirelessly with homeless and disadvantaged people. Their main focus is to give these people purpose through writing skills and paid work in journalism. They run a six-week course teaching online journalism skills to homeless or disadvantaged people. Through raising literacy levels, this helps homeless people help themselves to a better life.

The Big Issue has created a partnership with Poached Creative, and together work tirelessly with homeless and disadvantaged people. Their main focus is to give these people purpose through writing skills and paid work in journalism. They run a six-week course teaching online journalism skills to homeless or disadvantaged people. Through raising literacy levels, this helps homeless people help themselves to a better life.

Anil’s life was shattered after he lost contact with his daughter due to separation. He lost his job and home and suffered a major mental breakdown. He was homeless, depressed and fell into substance misuse.

He was determined to get better and always dreamt of starting his own business, but with no home, no way of getting funding and no idea where to start, he didn’t know where to start.

St Mungo’s helped him with accommodation and funded him through treatment for behavioral issues. After treatment he moved into supported accommodation and started attending a couple of short courses for out of work adults. He heard about the journalism course run by The Big Issue and Poached Creative and was keen on learning.

After starting the course, he immediately saw improvement in his skills as well as in his confidence.

“Joining the course helped me to establish a daily work routine of getting up in the morning, travelling & getting some work done and that gave structure to my life. I wanted an education so that I would have a good solid foundation before I started on my business venture. This course was also a great opportunity to meet new people and socialise with those who may be in a similar position to me. Photography is now my hobby.”

His new skills in writing and media, as well as his self-confidence, helped him in creating and developing the idea for his business. They also gave him the belief that his idea could be successful and helped him stay committed to the project.

Since completing the course, Anil has created a business plan, found funding and finally began his own electric-bike hire business, Buzz Bike Hire.

“It’s been daunting going into business alone because it’s something that I’ve never done before and you don’t know how it’s going to be received… I appreciate all the help that I have been given.”

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The Big Issue works tirelessly with homeless and disadvantaged people.
When I learned to read at the age of 16 I suddenly got in touch with education, with the chance of becoming a different kind of boy. Not the one always in trouble with the police. But someone who could in the end make the most of myself. Get behind literacy and you get behind social justice and social opportunity.
John Bird – Founder of The Big Issue
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