When I launched Homeschool Social Enterprise in 2010, I did not envisage the impact that it would have. I set up the charity because I could see that there was a need for an alternative way to educate children and the wider community.
To date, the school has been successful and our impact has spread beyond the school walls. As a charity we have a holistic vision as we realise that education is a lifelong process.
After being approached for money one evening when eating a meal with my wife at a Bistro in Birmingham City Centre, I could not ignore the increasing need on the streets. Fast forward two years from that encounter and our Homeless and Community Outreach has enabled us to connect with society’s most vulnerable adults. What we have found is the link between homelessness and education. It is not just the lack of a quality school education that can lead to homelessness, but the lack of general support and life education that can assist a person in their adult life.
As a school we have been able to connect one of Britain’s most ancient institutions with one of society’s most emerging problems. We have also had the unique opportunity to share our experiences with the school children, making them aware that life is not a straightforward journey, but with education and guidance, they can achieve.
Sure there is a much larger issue that is causing the level homelessness that we are currently facing and that issue must be addressed. But as a body, should we ‘turn a blind eye’ or should we band together to become a recognised hub for the community?
The challenge is this. What can schools and similar institutions do to address the issue of homelessness and other social disengagements?
I say this vigilantly as I know that there are many schools that are doing an incredible job at supporting the wider community. However, I also know that there is always room for improvement and the issue of Homelessness is increasing every day.
Food for thought.