Shelter (charity)


Shelter (charity)

Shelter (charity)



Shelter is a registered charity that campaigns to end homelessness and bad housing in Great Britain. It gives advice, information and advocacy to people in need, and tackles the root causes of bad housing by lobbying government and local authorities for new laws and policies to improve the lives of homeless and badly housed people. It works in partnership with Shelter Cymru in Wales and the Housing Rights Service in Northern Ireland. The charity was founded in 1966 and raised 48.2 million pounds in 2020/21.

Shelter helps people in housing need by providing advice and practical assistance, and fights for better investment in housing and for laws and policies to improve the lives of homeless and badly housed people.


Shelter was launched on 1 December 1966, evolving out of the work on behalf of homeless people then being carried on in Notting Hill in London. The launch of Shelter hugely benefited from the coincidental screening, in November 1966, of the BBC television play Cathy Come Home ten days before Shelter's launch. The film led to a public outcry and calls for action after its transmission. It was written by Jeremy Sandford and directed by Ken Loach – and highlighted the plight of the homeless in Britain. Shelter was set up by the Rev Bruce Kenrick after forming the Notting Hill Housing Trust in 1963. The social campaigner Des Wilson, having seen Cathy Come Home, became pivotal in the development Shelter.

Unusually for a charity, in 2008 Shelter saw strike action by its staff in response to changes being made to their terms and conditions.

Financial information

For the year ended March 2017 (England)

Total incoming resources: £60,902,000
Total expenditure: £62,874,000
Fundraising costs: £18,852,000
Total cost of charitable activities: £44,022,000

Sources of funding

Donations and legacies 54%
Housing advice and support services 29%
Shelter shops 14%
Training and publications 2%
Other 1%


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Company Persons

Chief executive officer of Shelter
1 place


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Alena Potapova

Development Director
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