Deutsche Bank's commitment to tackling the root causes of homelessness

By Harriette Tillott

Delivering evidence-based social impact

Last month we awarded nearly £120,000 to four of London’s grassroots charities through multi-year, core grants from the new Deutsche Bank Opportunity Fund, to tackle the root causes of homelessness.   

Deutsche Bank and The London Community Foundation (LCF) have been working in partnership for 15 years, supporting London's grassroots through over 200 grants, reducing isolation and disadvantage; advancing physical and mental health; strengthening community cohesion; and most recently, supporting those affecting by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

In July 2019, LCF conducted a beneficiary analysis report ‘Voices from the Frontline’ highlighting key learnings for funders. The research revealed a desire and need from London’s small charities for support to be focused on longer term core funding alongside the project funding which they have traditionally had greater access. The research also revealed housing and homelessness as one of the top three biggest concerns in the capital for charities over the next five years. 

We also conducted interviews with homelessness organisations across London to understand how they could best be supported by funders, with findings echoing those of the ‘Voices from the Frontline’ report – the need for multi-year, core funding. 

Subsequently, alongside our partners at Deutsche Bank, we were delighted to announce the Deutsche Bank Opportunity Fund. The fund saw a shift to focus on one specific issue – homelessness – while reflecting the priorities highlighted in the research to achieve greater social impact. 

Lareena Hilton, Global Head of CSR and Brand Communications at Deutsche Bank shares:

Homelessness across the UK is a complex issue, and one that needs to be tackled at different levels. The Deutsche Bank Opportunity Fund aims to reach homeless people through a grassroots response and support small groups providing tailored support to communities most in need, which this year focuses in the borough of Newham. We are proud to support this year’s four beneficiaries of the Fund who are at the forefront of local change and making deep impact for so many individuals.

Newham was chosen as the geographic focus of the fund in this first year, in line with a report released by Shelter in November 2018, which showed that the borough has the highest rates of homelessness in the country, with 1 in 24 people being homeless [1].There are particularly high rates of insecure housing in the borough, with 4,500 households in Newham living in temporary accommodation, the highest number in London [2].

Over the next two years, Round 1 of the Opportunity Fund will strengthen organisational resilience while targeting root causes of homelessness. From tackling barriers to securing private rented accommodation, supporting vulnerable females leaving prison, overcoming alcohol and drug misuse, and securing employment, to delivering legal support and advice to refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, and vulnerable families. Considering the impact of Covid-19 and the disproportionate effect on those most vulnerable, these community-led services will be needed now more than ever.  

Congratulations to the four successful organisations:

Angie Allgood, the Chair of NEWway Project: “NEWway Project applied to the DB Opportunity Fund in order to create a new job role that will plug a gap in the existing homelessness support provision in Newham and significantly boost its team’s ability to help people move on from rough sleeping. Support to secure suitable housing will have a significant, long lasting beneficial impact upon NEWway guests’ health, wellbeing, quality of life, economic prospects, community connection, safety and self-esteem." 

James Tullet, Chief Executive from Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London (RAMFEL): “RAMFEL are delighted to have received funding from Deutsche Bank’s Opportunity Fund. It will help some of the most vulnerable children in our society to access their right to citizenship and ensure they are not left facing destitution and uncertain futures.” 

Jane Williams, Founder and Director from The Magpie Project: "This funding from Deutsche Bank will help us to provide information, practical advice, and a sense of belonging to vulnerably housed women with children under five, so that they can assess the services to which they are entitled and ultimately move their life forward towards work, fulfilment and independence."

Karen Jefferys, Development Manager from Treasures Foundation: “Treasures is tremendously grateful for the donation from Deutsche Bank made through The London Community Foundation. The world has changed significantly between when we made the application and the Covid-19 world of today, but through the needs have remained and, in many cases, come to the fore. With this grant we can continue to support vulnerable women. Thank you!” 

[1] “Homelessness in Great Britain – the numbers behind the story,” Shelter, November 2018. 

[2] “London’s Poverty Profile,” Trust for London, 2017.