Cathy at 50 campaign

Fifty years ago Ken Loach’s landmark film about homelessness Cathy Come Home was screened for the first time.

To mark the anniversary, Inside Housing has launched its Cathy at 50 campaign to investigate the current homelessness landscape, raise awareness and promote innovative best practice to help end rough sleeping.

About Cathy at 50

The scale of the problem makes it imperative that councils, housing associations and the government work to find solutions. Rough sleeping in England jumped 30% last year, when 3,569 people were recorded on the streets. This is double the level recorded in 2010.

In order to help, the Cathy at 50 campaign will look to build skills and awareness both inside the housing sector and externally. For starters, Inside Housing is kicking of the campaign with a series of in-depth investigations and pieces of research throughout the anniversary week.

We will also be reaching beyond the sector, by launching a film competition – Reel Homes – in an attempt to engage young filmmakers in this crucial subject to produce a Cathy Come Home for the 21st Century. Housing associations have already pledged more than £10,000 to help fund the film and provide prize money for the winner. And we are also calling on the sector and government to look at adopting a Housing First approach to help tackle entrenched rough sleeping. The model, which involved providing permanent housing backed up by tailored support, appears to have had a dramatic impact in countries like the USA and Finland.

Finally, we are calling on the UK government to commit to ending rough sleeping, and halving the current figure by 2020 as a staging post. As we look to mark the 50th anniversary of a film that got many of our readers involved in the housing sector in the first place, it is time to renew the fight.

Cathy at 50 campaign aims:

  • To launch a film competition to produce a finished work about homelessness or the impact of the housing crisis .
  • A week of detailed research and stories from the frontline to mark the 50th anniversary of Cathy Come Home and promote a wider debate about the current homelessness crisis.
  • Call for councils to explore housing first as a default option for long-term rough sleepers and commission Housing First schemes, housing associations to identify additional stock for Housing First schemes and government to support five Housing First projects, collect evidence and distribute best practice.
  • Call for the UK government to commit to ending rough sleeping and to halve rough sleeping by 2020 as the first step to achieving this.

For single use only on 3 February 2017

Homeless for 13 years: Grant's story Video

01/02/2017 | By Danielle Aumord

The homelessness debate can often be caught up in facts and figures. As the Homelessness Reduction Bill makes its way through parliament, Danielle Aumord talks to one man about life in the system

For single use only on 27 January 2017

The homelessness frontline Video

27/01/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Today MPs are set to debate the Homelessess Reduction Bill, amid wrangling from councils over the costs. As the debate takes place, Sophie Barnes reports back from one outreach team’s nightly fight against homelessness in south London

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Homelessness on film Video

03/01/2017 | By Kate Youde

From I, Daniel Blake to A Street Cat Named Bob, films about housing and homelessness are entering the mainstream. But have they made a difference to people working on the frontline? Kate Youde finds out

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My first year with Crisis at Christmas

05/01/2017 | By Lucy Brown

Inside Housing sub-editor Lucy Brown shares her thoughts on her first year as a volunteer with Crisis at Christmas


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Live streaming of Cathy play tonight

18/01/2017 | By Carl Brown

An interactive live performance of a play inspired by Cathy Come Home will be streamed live tonight, with readers able to change the plot acted out on stage.