Homeless At Christmas: Day Four
23 December 2011, 06:00
All week on Heart, we've been focussing on homelessness in Cambridgeshire.
Flack is a charity that works with homeless people in Cambridge.
It is based in Sturton Street and also publishes a magazine written by homeless people.
The aim of Flack is to give homeless people the resources and skills to find employment and in turn find accommodation.
However, the charity has recently been facing closure due to a shortage of money.
At the start of December, the charity said that it needed to raise £45,000 by the 5th of January to remain open.
As of 2pm on the 22nd of December, £41,000 has been raised and just £4,000 extra is needed to secure Flack's immediate future.
Neil Smith [pictured - above right], also known as 'Smiffy' used to homeless and has spent lots of time at Flack recently.
He has decided to raise money to help save Flack from closure by getting sponsored to not drink any alcohol in the run up to Christmas and during the festive period.
He has also written a poem about being homeless at Christmas, which you can listen to below.
Flack is being supported by Cambridge MP Julian Huppert.
Mr Huppert said: "Flack is making a real difference on the streets of Cambridge but it relies on charitable donations to keep it going.
If this project fails, homeless people will have lost the support that could help them off the streets and back into work and a future.
These people rely on charities like FLACK to give them a helping hand; without it many won’t survive the harshness of life on the streets.
We cannot let this happen.
This is too big a risk."
The phone number for Flack Cambridge is 01223 366532.
In our news bulletins this afternoon (Friday 23 December), we're hearing from a victim of domestic violence.
According to the charity Crisis, domestic violence is the main cause of homelessness among women.
A report found that 63% of homeless women between 30 and 49 said domestic abuse was the main reason they'd lost their homes.
In the interview you can hear below,we have disguised the voice of the victim, who is from Cambridgeshire and has told Heart her story.
Women's Aid is a national charity that works to end domestic abuse against women and children.
The phone number for Women's Aid is 0808 2000 247.