Homelessness charities Crisis and Pathway plan to merge, in an effort to better tackle homelessness and health inequalities.
The merger, which will see the charities maintain their own operations and existing identities, and operate under a group structure, which aims to build on the existing collaboration between the two organisations.
Pathway will become a subsidiary of Crisis. In order to adopt this structure, Pathway has made amendments to its governing document which are being submitted to the Charity Commission for review and approval.
For the financial year ending 31 March 2020 Pathway’s total income was £730,625, with spending at £807,069. It ended the year with reserves of £531,431. Meanwhile Crisis' income for the year ending 30 June 2019 was £53m.
The services both charities provide will continue unchanged for the time being. Longer-term, the two charities will look to combine expertise. For example, Pathway teams may be in place where Crisis Skylight centres are based.
No jobs will be affected by the merger
Crisis employs nearly 600 staff, while eight people work at Pathway.
No jobs will be affected by the merger, and as Crisis and Pathway will be remaining as two separate charities, they will both retain their current board of trustees. However, a Crisis trustee will be joining Pathway’s board.
Pathway and Crisis will work together to ensure that the health service, through all its contacts with people experiencing homelessness, fulfils its potential in actively resolving homelessness.
The two charities will continue to advocate for policy responses to homelessness that save lives, reduce health inequalities, and promote positive health outcomes for people who are homeless.
The merger aims to increase the number of dedicated hospital teams that work with patients who are homeless across the country, work with the NHS and wider health and social care services to help them prevent homelessness and campaign for the changes needed to save lives and demonstrate the positive health outcomes of immediate access to good quality emergency accommodation.
'By joining together we will be able to do even more'
Both chief executives are also remaining in their current roles.
Jon Sparkes, chief executive at Crisis, said: “Having worked together successfully for many years, this merger is an exciting opportunity for both charities to combine our expertise, resources and voices at a time when people experiencing homelessness need us more than ever.
“The pandemic has further exposed how dangerous it can be for our health when we don’t have somewhere safe to call home, yet far too often people are discharged from hospitals with nowhere to go. We are determined to see this change and will be working together to ensure that the NHS and wider health and social care system plays its part in helping to achieve our shared goal of ending homelessness for good.”
Alex Bax, chief executive at Pathway, said: “Pathway was founded on the belief that the NHS has a huge part to play in preventing and ending homelessness. By joining together with Crisis we will be able to do even more to support frontline NHS colleagues, build the skills and knowledge of NHS staff, and show how health, housing and care services working together is the best response to homelessness. Leading organisations from across the homelessness and health sector back our merger, believing it will bring real change to people facing homelessness now and in the future.”