Our impact

Shelter exists to fight for all those whose lives are blighted by the loss of their home – and all whose lives will be affected if things don’t change. Last year, we gave information, support, and advice to millions of people facing homelessness or experiencing bad housing.

Our impact

Shelter exists to fight for all those whose lives are blighted by the loss of their home – and all whose lives will be affected if things don’t change. Last year, we gave information, support, and advice to millions of people facing homelessness or experiencing bad housing.

In 2018/19 our helpline team gave advice to 41,192 households

We spent an average of 26 minutes talking to each caller in England and 12 minutes in Scotland.

Our online advice pages received 4.3 million visits last year

We had 41,508 conversations with people through our webchat service.

39% of people

were facing eviction or repossession

18% of people

lived in an unsafe house or area

44% of people

were struggling to cope or manage on a day-to-day basis

In 2018/19, thanks to our help, 33,000 households saw a positive change in their housing situation

I was working full-time but unwell, and then disagreements where I was living meant I was asked to leave. Just like that, I was homeless.

A friend let me sleep on a mattress on her floor and I went to North Lanarkshire Council for help but they told me it would cost hundreds of pounds a week for temporary accommodation, which I couldn’t afford. I thought they’d try to find me something permanent.

Then I found out I was pregnant. I’d always wanted to be a mum, but the reality was I was ill and sleeping on a friend’s living room floor. The stress of the situation really damaged my mental health.

I called the Shelter Scotland helpline and the adviser gave me really good advice. When I told the council I’d spoken to Shelter Scotland suddenly things started happening. A month later they offered me a temporary furnished flat.

But they were charging £1,300 a month, the sofas had slash marks on them and when I moved in the shower didn’t work properly, the fridge had no shelves and the kettle and toaster were both broken. But I still feel grateful that I had a roof over my head.

Eventually I was offered a permanent housing association property. It was a huge relief but also daunting as it needed plastering and painting and had absolutely nothing in it.

Pregnant woman looking out of window

Shelter Scotland stepped in again. Their second-hand furniture shop in Motherwell provided me with a starter pack with white goods for the kitchen, a couch and bedroom set. This took a huge pressure off my budget and meant the house was properly homely.

Aila was born just before New Year. Bringing a newborn baby home from hospital is emotional for any parent but for me it was even more so because just a few months earlier I thought I’d be taking her back to the tiny temporary flat with still no idea when we’d have a proper home.

I’m so grateful to Shelter Scotland and everyone who supports it. I will never forget them.

Annual report 2018-19 front cover

Download our Annual Report to read more about how we make a difference.

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A huge campaign success

Every Council has a legal duty to find housing for every homeless person. But on 3,365 occasions in 2019, Glasgow City Council failed to do this. Denying homeless people the right to temporary housing when they need it most is wrong. It’s shocking. And it’s breaking the law.

We decided that we wouldn't stand for it.

Our legal challenge began in August 2019, after official statistics were published showing the number of occasions that Glasgow City Council had breached its legal duty to provide adequate temporary accommodation was continuing to increase year on year. This was despite the council being four years into a five-year improvement plan agreed with the Scottish Housing Regulator.

Over 10,000 people signed our petition asking the regulator to take action, and we were ready to go to court to fight for justice.

But in January 2020 we declared a major victory in our ongoing campaign against Glasgow City Council after the announcement of a historic intervention by the Scottish Housing Regulator. The regulator will now launch an inquiry into Glasgow City Council's actions.

We'll be sharing our evidence of the council’s ongoing failures with the regulator - thanks to you, we're a step closer to every homeless person being granted their legal right to temporary housing.

The People v. Glasgow City Council campaign banner

Shelter campaigner at front door with petition

We’re here for everyone, but only with your support

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