Shelter: National Campaign for the Homeless 1966

Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, was established in 1966 as Shelter, the National Campaign for the Homeless. When the charity launched in December 1966 its aims were to raise money for underfunded housing associations so that they could re-house families in need and to raise public awareness of homelessness and housing conditions.

Shelter’s early activity included its “Face the Facts” report, which urged government to change its definition of "homeless" to include those living in property deemed "unfit for human habitation", resulting in conferences and rallies across Britain. The Liverpool Shelter Neighbourhood Action Project was another early project running from 1969-1972 which worked with residents living in slums to build the houses they wanted to live in. In 1968 Shelter hired photographer Nick Hedges to take documentary photography of housing conditions across Britain which were used in campaigns and also documented these projects.

When the Housing Act was passed in 1974 Shelter’s efforts turned to raising awareness and help for people facing homelessness and the rights of private tenants. Shelter continue to work to raise awareness of and help people struggling with homelessness and poor housing in Britain. Shelter offer a housing advice service and campaign to change laws and fundraise to help those in need.

Shelter celebrated “Shelter at 50” in 2016 with special events in Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield.