Shelter is a charity that helps people struggling with bad housing or homelessness through advice, support and legal services. It also campaigns to make housing more affordable, renting fairer and homelessness a thing of the past. Founded in 1966, Shelter employs over 1,300 staff and has more than 1,200 volunteers.
Shelter’s head office is in central London but the charity has offices in Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Sheffield and Slough. Shelter Scotland is located in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Shelter has active fundraising and campaigning departments. Other job roles at Shelter include account manager, administrator, legal administrator, business analysis officer, paralegal, project support officer and retail marketing manager. The charity also has a network of charity shops.
One of Shelter’s main activities is the provision of advice for housing problems. Free, accessible advice is available on its website, via expert advisers on its helpline, and in face-to-face advice centres across the country. Shelter responded to over four million requests for help in 2015.
Many of the people Shelter helps are homeless or at immediate risk of losing their home. Others have a multitude of housing-related needs, such as dealing with unscrupulous landlords, getting repairs made to run-down properties, or coping with neighbourhood strife. The charity also advises on dealing with debt, claiming welfare benefits or accessing appropriate care.
Shelter also engages in lobbying and high-profile public campaigns. A current campaign is aimed at improving private renting by making homes fit for human habitation and ensuring better protection for renters’ money.
Shelter has numerous corporate partnerships. Current partners include British Gas, Nationwide and Legal & General.
Among the benefits Shelter offers employees are 30 days annual leave, life assurance and discounts at more than 2,000 retailers. A core value of Shelter’s work is a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. The charity assesses the equality and diversity impact of all its services and monitors the diversity of its clients in order to better understand the housing problems faced by different groups.
In 2016, Shelter will be marking its fiftieth anniversary.