DEMAND AN END TO POVERTY THIS GENERAL ELECTION
TAKE ACTION
Housing

Museum of Homelessness launches memorial site for those who die homeless

The activists are continuing their work to document each homeless death while gathering information to help them understand the impact of Covid-19 on homeless people better – so they can push for change that will help them

rough sleeping

Big Issue Changmaker the Museum of Homelessness (MoH) is calling for submissions to a new online memorial designed to remember those who have died while homeless.

MoH was already keeping track of homeless deaths, having taken over the task after the Bureau of Investigative Journalism began the count. At present the Dying Homeless project shows 1,468 people have died without a home between the count’s launch in late 2017 and the end of last year.

Now the activists are responding to the threat posed to the homeless population by the Covid-19 crisis by partnering with the UCL Collaborative Centre for Inclusion Health.

They’ll work with Professor Andrew Hayward and Dr Al Story, the brains behind the clinical plan for protecting homeless people during the pandemic, which MoH say has “already saved countless lives”. Together they will campaign for changes to the local government response to Covid-19 to protect homeless lives.

In a statement, MoH said: “We hope that the site will also offer a space for people to grieve and remember those we have lost.

“It is very hard to attend funerals at the present time. The site offers people the opportunity to submit a memory or tribute and we hope that this will be useful for our community of people affected by homelessness, workers and volunteers.”

As well as tracking the number of people who die while homeless – including rough sleepers and ‘sofa surfers’ plus those in hostels and temporary accommodation like B&Bs – the Dying Homeless project tries to verify the cause of death where possible, in tandem with charities and coroners officials.

They gather the names and stories of those who have died to ensure they’re not forgotten, redacting sensitive details where necessary or where family have requested it.

The new memorial site was planned to launch last month but was pushed back as the charity mobilised with other activists to fight the pandemic on the frontline and protect those stuck without a home. The group have teamed up with Streets Kitchen and local activists to form a Homeless Task Force durng the crisis and were instrumental, along with the local council, in sourcing funding for Mildmay Hospital to treat homeless Covid-19 patients.

The new site will record all homeless deaths reported to it, not just those caused directly by Covid-19, but MoH say the data will help them understand the full impact of the virus on the homeless population.

“This is a vital project that will help ensure the rights of homeless people are respected and we hold those responsible to account when they’re not,” they added.

You can help by reporting deaths of homeless people here.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
'It's crisis point': Social housing waiting list will cost next government £205bn to clear
building social housing
Social housing

'It's crisis point': Social housing waiting list will cost next government £205bn to clear

Should we end Thatcher's Right to Buy? How scrapping scheme could help solve UK's housing crisis
Andy Burnham has differing views to Margaret Thatcher on Right to Buy
Right to Buy

Should we end Thatcher's Right to Buy? How scrapping scheme could help solve UK's housing crisis

'Next government must fix our broken rental system': Political leaders told to stand up for renters
renters are demanding the next government protects them from poverty
RENTING

'Next government must fix our broken rental system': Political leaders told to stand up for renters

Is there really a 'clear plan' to tackle UK's housing crisis? Five things we learned from Tory manifesto
Rishi Sunak ahead of the Conservative Manifesto launch
General election 2024

Is there really a 'clear plan' to tackle UK's housing crisis? Five things we learned from Tory manifesto

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know