On 10th October 2021 we will be taking time to reflect upon homelessness and the issues surrounding homelessness in the UK.

In particular we will focus on how Covid-19 has changed the way that churches and individuals are able to respond to homelessness, and what the church response to homelessness looks like post-pandemic in 2022 and beyond.

Please do take this opportunity to raise awareness of homelessness in your church, and feel free to use the resources below to this purpose as you see fit.

Marking Homeless Sunday

Resources to help you mark Homeless Sunday 2021

Sermons and Recordings

Recorded Sermon from Bishop Rob (Bishop of Edmonton, Chair of Housing Justice)

Church Service Video with Bishop John Davies, Former Archbishop of Wales

Homeless Sunday Recording by Revd Naomi Oates (Methodist Minister)1,2

1 The poem mentioned (Drop in the Ocean) can be heard in full here.

2 The picture behind Revd Naomi is Sadao Watanabe’s ‘People visit the stable’ from the Methodist Modern Art Collection, © TMCP, used with permission: www.methodist.org.uk/artcollection


To help you mark Homeless Sunday 2021 we have prepared a selection of suggested…

• Scriptures

• Prayers

• Hymns and songs

• Junior church (or equivalent) explorations and prayers

These can all be downloaded here: 



Housing Justice Videos

Download our volunteer recruitment video for offline viewing

•  Faith in Affordable Housing 

 Andrew’s Story

The Citadel Project

• Our Hosting Programme:

Interested in Hosting? Learn more


Additional Resources

Download our latest resource for churches (‘Many Rooms: How churches can respond to homelessness after the pandemic’)

Information about families and children experiencing homelessness

Marking Homeless Sunday in Scotland + homelessness overview

Study Course: For churches wanting to follow up the theme of homelessness with a study course, our friends at Alabaré Christian Care & Support are kindly making their resources available. You can access their Bible Study course here.

• Other Alabaré resources for churches can be found here

 What will you do to end homelessness? by the Joint Public Issues Team

Homeless Sunday Reflection by Bernardo Cañas, Housing Justice staff member


How To Help People Affected By Homelessnesss

Guidance to help you help others

What to do as an individual

• Got a spare room? Check out our hosting programme

• See our ‘How To Help As An Individual’ online resources

Learn more about our Citadel volunteering

What to do as a church / group

Download our latest resource for churches (‘Many Rooms: How churches can respond to homelessness after the pandemic’)

A New Season for Night Shelters – report looking at winter night shelters in 2020/21

• Surplus/disused church land or buildings? See our Affordable Homes programme 

• See our ‘How To Help As A Church’ online resources:


Charter For Christian Homelessness Agencies

The Charter + Become a signatory

Charter FAQs

Example from our Faith in Affordable Housing programme


Facts & Figures

Rough Sleeping -the numbers

Information sheet about families and children affected by homelessness


Compared to the general public, people sleeping rough…

  • are almost 17 times more likely to be a victim of violence
  • die 30 years younger on average
  • The average life expectancy for men sleeping rough is 47 and 43 for women


When growing up…

  • 2/3 of people who sleep rough experienced violence between parents/carers
  • Just under 60% had a parent/carer with a drug or alcohol problem
  • About half have been sexually and/or physically abused
  • 1/3 have been bullied or have been suspended or expelled from school
  • 25% have been taken into the care of a council as a child or young person
  • A quarter were brought up in a workless household living on welfare benefits
  • 15% reported that they often did not have enough to eat each day


Before viewing the statistics below, it is important to recognise that official figures often significantly underestimate the number of people sleeping rough. For example, the latest government figures state that around 2,688 people in England are sleeping rough on any given night, but since the lockdown began almost 20,000 people who were at risk or living on the streets were moved into emergency accommodation, and by the end of March 2021, there were 95,450 households in temporary accommodation.


  • According to the latest government figures, 2,688 people were estimated to be sleeping rough on a single typical night in 2020
  • This represents a decrease of 37% from 2019, but this could be a significant underestimate
  • The majority of these people are over 26 (87%), approximately 5% are between 18-25 years old
  • 72% of the people sleeping rough in 2020 were from the UK. 18% were EU (Non-UK) nationals and 5 % were from outside the EU and the UK. 

Stats provided by MHCLG and UK Government



  • Since the start of the outbreak, nearly 900 people across Wales have presented as homeless and been supported into emergency accommodation
  • Third sector bodies estimate that annually some 2,900 people were sleeping rough every year in Wales pre-pandemic
  • In 2021 it is estimated that there are 80 people sleeping rough on a single typical night
  • In May 2021, 5 local authorities reported to have no cases of rough sleeping

Stats provided by Welsh Government




  • In 2020/21, 2,437 households reported sleeping rough at some point in the 3 months before they applied for help with homelessness
  • In 2020,21, 1,471 households reported sleeping rough the night before their application for support
  • Rough sleeping is primarily concentrated in Scottish cities
  • The vast majority of people sleeping rough in Scotland are Scottish or British
  • More stats and info on homelessness in Scotland + Homeless Sunday resources

Stats provided by Scottish Government

Further Information

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