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Breaking barriers

17 May, 2024

In a world where an address is more than just a location, ProxyAddress emerges as a vital lifeline to those facing homelessness. An address is not just about where you live; it’s about who you are and the services you can access.  

By providing individuals experiencing homelessness with ‘proxy addresses’ during periods of instability when they might not have a fixed location, the organisation enables people to many vital things which are otherwise out of reach – such as applying for jobs, receiving benefits, and accessing healthcare. 

The concept is simple yet profound: vacant properties are donated (with consent from the owners) and ProxyAddress issues addresses. It is fuelled by private donations (your business address could be used for support), and partners with councils, housing associations, and real estate companies. And the hope is that long-term empty properties in the UK will be utilised more widely, becoming a matter of public policy that tackles the issues surrounding homelessness.  

No one should face discrimination or miss out on essential services because they lack a permanent residence; missing just one letter about your benefits can lead to missed appointments and sanctions. ProxyAddress seeks to change that. 

Whilst ProxyAddress is only currently available in London as a trial programme, they are rewriting the narrative of homelessness and unlocking access to the support homeless people deserve and need to regain and retain an independent life.   

By Bertie Bateman

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