Tomorrow, on Tuesday 8th March, a Leeds based homeless charity called Simon On The Streets will be launching their Simone On The Streets campaign to support and represent homeless women this International Women’s day. The event offers chance for members of the public in Leeds to show their support for homeless women.
The campaign, initiated by a team of eight students who were inspired by a talk from the charity, aims to raise awareness and bring to light the complex issues that homeless women face. The students, along with members and supporters of the charity, will take over Leeds City Square for a couple of hours from noon onwards. Bill Urray, Councillor for Homelessness and the Causes of Homelessness, will also be showing his support and attending the event. These people and also the general public, will not be the only ones standing to support homeless women – eight bronze female statues will be placed in the square opposite Leeds train station, dressed with artwork that aims to expose the reality for homeless women and the problems that underpin hidden homelessness.
To create the campaign a student from Leeds Beckett University, Frances Carter, 20, has teamed with Laura McHugh from Leeds College of Art to craft the event that will kick start a month of campaigning by the charity. Frances, who is coordinating the event with the support of Leeds Beckett University said “I was really inspired by the charity’s lecture. After further research I realised there are significant problems women on the street face that need to be addressed. I thought of occupying the eight female statues in the Square, which are so often unnoticed, as a fitting action to increase public awareness of the issues”.
Development Manager for Simon on the Streets, Aissa Gallie, said “We were really pleased when Fran approached us. We knew this idea provided a great opportunity for people to gain a deeper understanding of what our clients are challenged with”.
For almost 17 years the independent charity have been working across Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield to ‘turn rough lives around’ by supporting the homeless, giving them the motivation to make positive changes. The charity offers emotional support and aim to build good relationships with those who are excluded from, or refuse the intervention of other services. Having held successful events in the past, such as the 2013 Blue Plaque Campaign and the annual #sleepwithsimon sleep outs, all involved with the charity are hoping to have a high level of support at the launch of the Simone On The Streets campaign tomorrow. In continuing to push the campaign throughout the whole of March (mainly on social media via their website and Twitter), the students hope to draw attention from the public and inspire people to deepen their understanding on the specific issues surrounding women who are homeless.
So, tomorrow, if you have a spare few moments in your afternoon… why not go and support Simone On The Street? You’ll be doing a great thing for females this International Women’s Day.
Photo Credit: Simon On The Streets