The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Love For the Streets ends semester on a high

Student-led campaign aims to engage students in the sensitive topic of homelessness with a conference and sound clash

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Love for the Streets (LFTS), a student led campaign to tackle homelessness, is ending the semester with two huge events.

The first, ‘Let’s talk homelessness: Looking at LGBTQ+ and Women’s Issues’, which took place on Monday the 4th of December, was used to inform students and the wider Manchester community about “niche topics” that affect the homeless.

The event page claimed these “sensitive topics” are rarely spoken about, so it hoped to encourage more candid conversation about the subject in a fun and relaxed setting.

24 per cent of homeless young people identify as LGBT, according to the Albert Kennedy Trust in Manchester. They also state that 77 per cent of these believed that coming out to their parents was the main factor in becoming homeless.

Research by Crisis, the homelessness charity, found 58 per cent of women sleeping rough had been intimidated or threatened with violence in the past 12 months.

The event had three guest speakers, all of whom have worked with organisations who combat homelessness, and there were 150 attendees. “The event was just the broad beginning of many future conferences. We are going to make Let’s Talk Homelessness a series to try and humanise homelessness,” said Jack Houghton, community officer at the Student’s Union.

In addition to the conference, LFTS will be hosting a Christmas Soundclash at Cubo in Fallowfield on Saturday 9th December.

Champions of the last event, Off Beat, will be going up against Riddim Division. The final spot of the clash has been opened up for fresh talent.

Donations made on the night will go towards homeless charities in Manchester. Jack told The Mancunion why he believed an alternative and creative approach was best to engage a young audience. He said, “Charities have a hard time reaching students and we want to bridge that gap between. The Soundclash event is about engaging with people through social media and music. We are trying to raise brand awareness, to spread the message of Love for the Streets among students.”

Money for the cause will also be raised through the sale of T-shirts branded with the LFTS logo.

The Mancunion spoke to Joe Rooney the designer of the shirts. When asked about how the design ties in with the message he said, “the typography has its roots in street art which permeates Manchester’s identity.”

He continued, “I’ve always struggled to figure out how I can help, now through fashion and design I can contribute in my own way, which is awesome. I think that’s why Love for the Streets is so exciting, it utilises people’s hobbies and skills to reach out to its audience.”

Ahead of the Christmas Soundclash, 3rd year American Studies student Whitney Burdett told The Mancunion why she would be attending. Whitney said, “I am going… because it is a cheap and local event with good music. I think Love for the streets is a great idea because not many students are encouraged to donate. This is a more accessible means of getting us involved. Going to events like this makes me feel like I’m doing my bit.”

Love for the Streets will have more events in Homelessness week from the 18th-25th March 2018.