For any person curled up on their sofa wrapped in a blanket and drinking a cup of tea, the idea of homelessness is one that is far from their minds. As one of the fortunate people residing in a comfortable home with a cup of tea sitting on the table (herbal tea at that), the thought of ‘sleeping rough’ on this rainy evening makes my stomach do a turnover. Sadly, there are many people who face homelessness as a reality each night.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government – don’t worry, the stats part is short – the percentage of homelessness in the UK has increased by 15 percent in the last year. The reasons for the increase vary, but common reasons for people losing their homes include a poor financial situation, involvement in drug abuse or alcohol addiction, complex relationships, and many more. Luckily, charities have become aware of this issue and homelessness is being examined more closely. One of the charities supporting homelessness awareness is Musicians Against Homelessness.
This is where the music part steps in.
Musicians Against Homelessness holds several charity events across the United Kingdom to raise money for other charities, such as Crisis or The Bus Shelter. On Saturday 8th September, a charitable gig will be held at Camden Assembly with several independent musicians performing to show solidarity against homelessness. With homelessness on the rise, and many people choosing to ignore the issue, it is important to increase exposure as much as possible.
‘It’s incredibly sad to see homelessness on the rise. Pretty much any street in London at the moment has some poor soul sat in the cold having to beg for enough money to buy essentials to survive, and we absolutely cannot turn a blind eye to it.’ – The Velvet Hands
To date, the Musicians Against Homelessness organisation has raised approximately £100,000 in donations for homelessness charities using their grassroots rock music movement. According to The Velvet Hands, performers at the Camden Assembly gig:
‘Artists, in general, are much more empathetic toward people down on their luck and have a platform to do or say something about it. So to have musicians, big and small, come together to support the cause and raise awareness really is amazing.’
If you want to make a difference and enjoy some good independent music at the same time this Saturday, then head down to the Camden Assembly for one of Musicians Against Homelessness’ various London gigs. The bands performing include The Velvet Hands, Couples, Stony Sugarskull, The Trusted, The Kiddiwinks, Pink Cigar, and Dead Writers. Entry is free and the doors open at 15:30.
‘It’s really important that people don’t forget about those who have fallen through the cracks. Events like this are vital for raising awareness and support for an issue that could affect any of us. We are so glad to be involved in helping raise funds for the cause.’ – Millie Ritchie (Couples)