November 2023
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Please give generously to the homelessness gravy-trainers

Thursday/Friday blog

It’s Christmas and, as usual, we’re being blitzed with ads from homelessness charities. I understand that there can be few things as depressing as being alone and homeless at Christmas. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little look at these homelessness charities demanding so much of our money.

Moreover, having written the book – THE GREAT CHARITY SCANDAL – in which I questioned why a small country like the UK apparently needs over 200,000 registered charities, I tend to be slightly wary when charities come asking for my money.

Doing the same thing?

From what I can see, there are three main charities claiming to be helping the homeless – Crisis, Shelter and Centrepoint.

Here’s how each of these three charities describes their work:

Crisis – Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people. We are dedicated to ending homelessness by delivering life-changing services and campaigning for change. Our innovative education, employment, housing and well-being services address individual needs and help people to transform their lives

Shelter – Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing and homelessness through our advice, support and legal services. And we campaign to make sure that, one day, no one will have to turn to use for help. We’re here so no one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own

Centrepoint – Centrepoint is the UK’s leading charity for homeless young people. It supports more than 15,000 homeless 16-25 year olds into a home and a job every year.

They’re all slightly different, but still seem fairly similar

Hundreds of millions a year

Now for the money. In 2021 Crisis raised £64m; Shelter got £73m and Centrepoint £44m. That’s £181m we’ve paid to charities to help the homeless. That’s quite a lot of money.

However, we’re paying around £2.5bn from our taxes to house over 150,000 illegal migrants in 4- and 5-star hotels. So clearly mostly uneducated, unemployable and often criminal Third-worlders are rather more important to our government than homeless British citizens.

How they spend our money

The Charity Commission claims something like about £9 out of every £10 (90%) we donate is spent on what the Commission calls ‘charitable activities’. So, let’s quickly test that with our homelessness charities

Crisis spent around £19.9m (31%) of their £64m raising funds. Shelter spent £13.4m (18%) of their £73m raising funds and Centrepoint spent £10.4m (24%) of their £44m raising funds. So our homelessness charities spent an astonishing (to me) £43.7m just raising funds. That’s about 25% of their income. So much for the Charity Commission’s claim that around 90% of donations are used for ‘charitable activities’.

Other fun facts

I noticed that Crisis, who claim to be the national charity for single homeless people, spends just £6.1m of its £64m on housing and a more impressive £22.7m on what the charity calls ‘Education, employment, health and well-being’. Make of that what you will.

But perhaps the most surprising feature of these three wonderful, selfless homelessness charities is the amount they spend on their own staff. Crisis spends £30.2m (47%) of its £64m income on its own staff, Shelter spends £47m (64%) of its £73m income on its own staff and Centrepoint spends £20.9m (47%) of its £44m income on its own staff. That’s £98.1m (54%) of these charities’ £181m income spent on their own staff. A cynic might wonder who benefits most from the £181m we give to homelessness charities – the homeless or the homelessness charities’ lucky employees.

Nice work if you can get it?

And that brings us to the salaries paid to these three charities’ big bosses. Charities don’t have to disclose the exact salaries of their bosses, they can just give a range.

The Crisis boss is paid (I won’t use the word ‘earns’) between £130,000 and £139,999 a year. So does the boss at Shelter. For some reason, the boss at the smaller Centrepoint gets a bit more – between £140,000 and £149,999 a year.

How much will you give?

So, when the homelessness charities come demanding your money, you might be forgiven for being slightly reluctant to hand over your cash as there might be better uses for your money than these three (IMHO) bloated, self-serving, money-grabbing supposed homelessness charities.

6 comments to Please give generously to the homelessness gravy-trainers

  • Stillreading

    “these three (IMHO) bloated, self-serving, money-grabbing supposed homelessness charities.” How right you are! I have never given and will never give a penny of my previously hard-earned and now miserly mainly Government-provided pension income to ANY charity which can afford to send me begging letters, unwanted junk pens, wads of trashy Christmas cards, or pay chuggers to bang on my door. For many years I did support a very deserving educational charity, somewhere I could see the direct benefit of my and others’ contributions, but in view of the ever smaller margin between income and outgoings that has had to go. As has one leisure activity which enhanced life appreciably, but which was not essential, the escalating expenses of which rendered it no longer viable. However, walking, nature, the countryside – what’s left of it as ever more ghastly little jerry-built boxes creep relentlessly across the fields around my small town – is still free. There will of course be ever more homeless native-born unfortunates this Christmas, as our own people, some regardless of their official status as “homeless” and therefore meriting provision of accommodation by Local Authorities, others with residential staff status, are being chucked onto the streets at 24 hours’ notice in order that the hotels in which they are living can take in thousands of dinghy-arriving illegals. How much of this is the population of the UK, more specifically England, going to take before something very nasty erupts? How long can you keep the lid on a pressure cooker? I live in what is essentially a retirement area, where it is guaranteed that when you walk down the High Street you will meet at least one acquaintance, and people with whom I associate daily are utterly enraged at this apparently Government-sanctioned invasion of our Southern border. And yes, it IS an invasion.

  • Ed P

    Adding up your figures shows all three are using approximately 4/5ths of all receipts on non-charitable activities: self-promotion and staff, some grossly overpaid.
    But, as all three ‘charities’ must be receiving funding from the taxpayer, it’s equivalent to an inefficient and uneconomic way of helping the homeless – much better to house them all in hotels, like the migrants – thus eliminating these bloated self-serving parasitic organisations.

  • david draig

    No, some of the staff costs will be on charitable activities like supporting homeless people find accommodation education and jobs. But I suspect these 3 ‘charities’ are large, self-serving bureaucracies. Moreover, if you merged these 3 organisations into one, you could probably save over £40m which could be used for real charitable work

  • Carolyn Hill

    Yes there is something suspect about three charities all doing the same thing. Why?
    There isn’t a charity in the land that is unique. I suspect that, if I could be bothered to look into it *, I would find that starting up your own charity is a pretty lucrative business.

    There should be one homeless charity, one children’s charity, one overseas aid charity, one animal welfare charity etc. Will anything be done about this? Of course not! Snouts in the trough AGAIN.

    * Too depressed about the budget and wound up by that smug basket Hunt!

  • A Thorpe

    The charities listed had the best advertising agency the world has ever known – Diana. What they are not doing is solving the reason for so many homeless, especially the young. Why would they? It would mean the end of their jobs. The same could be said of the cancer charities. What have they achieved? I understand that Moderna was set up to develop gene-based cancer treatments, but none worked, so they turned it into a vaccine that also didn’t work and made billions.

    What is the reason for the homeless? It has to be the breakdown of family life and it seems obvious to me that is the slow march of state interference in our lives and the state financial support that makes family breakup attractive. At the start of life children are handed over to others whilst parents go out the work, and at the end-of-life parents are handed over to be cared for by others. This didn’t happen 70-80 years ago. When my maternal grandparents died there was no hospitalisation when they were taken ill. I don’t know what happened because grandchildren were never told. But as far as I am aware they died peacefully at home, and I know my grandfather was offered an injection which my mother refused. There was no undignified post-mortem. The coffins were brought to the house, and they were laid out by the family. Why does the state want to know exactly how we died? It is rather pointless if they can’t save us from dying and still have an active life to the end. Post-mortems are about collecting statistics for no useful purpose except to keep people employed, just like the charities.

    There is a good example of state failure with the death of the two-year old boy from living in a damp house. Neither the health service nor the landlord cared enough to do something about it.

    Charities, like politicians, are completely unaccountable to those providing the money. But what are they both doing? They are implementing the actions proposed by the Frankfurt School, which are strongly related to the objectives of the WEF. A majority have gone along with these changes with question. We have handed over control of our lives to those who wish us harm.

  • Bill Airway

    Just three of:-

    Location/Type Number
    England & Wales 357,396
    Scotland 45,000
    Northern Ireland 10,000
    Total UK Charities 412,396
    Social Enterprises 76,335
    Total UK Non-Profits 488,731

    According to Charity Excellence website.

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