Gary Staniforth, Hidden Homeless
Hidden Homeless is a registered company set up by Gary Staniforth which works with Bradford’s homeless to produce a magazine.
In 2009, Gary was homeless and living in Salvation Army accommodation in Bradford. He noticed that the City’s Council legislation was lacking in its support of single homeless people and he decided to change the way in which the homeless and people who use support services were viewed. With this in mind, Gary set up Hidden Voices, a service user lead magazine written, designed and produced by the homeless of Bradford. The magazine provides them with the opportunity to develop new skills, motivation and potential routes to employment.
Gary received £10,000 from UnLtd which helped pay towards set up costs and maintain the magazine’s development. He said of the support:
“Without the financial support from UnLtd I wouldn’t have been able to produce more than two issues, we’re now on issue six. I believe the magazine can achieve real change for individuals who have experienced homelessness while helping them develop a sense of self worth, as well as skills, in order to move forward positively. The fact that service providers are beginning to use Hidden Voices as a platform to promote good practice and improve service provision shows how far we’ve come already.”
In the last twelve months, Hidden Homeless has secured a Board of Trustees, employed three sellers, some of which have moved from being on the streets to rented accommodation. Recently, Gary and Hidden Voices featured on Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire, with the social venture getting £28,000 from millionaire Andrew Feldman. Gary is currently working to build Hidden Homeless’ brand so that it becomes a known entity within the sector, with service providers and contractors supplying further projects and workshops.