Borealis Social Fund supports non-profit organisations Sheltersuit UK and Caritas Austria to help homeless people during Winter time
Photo: The funding from the Borealis Social Fund will enable Sheltersuit UK to establish a presence in London, from where it can support homeless people across the UK.
© Shertersuit Foundation/Tony Dočekal
Sheltersuit Foundation is a non-profit organisation that creates thoughtfully designed products to protect people from the elements of homelessness. The Sheltersuit is a wind and waterproof jacket with an optional sleeping bag attachment to provide immediate shelter, and the Shelterbag is a portable, sheltered bed that rolls up into a bag. Both products are made from high-quality up-cycled materials. With the help of street workers and social organisations such as Caritas, these products are distributed all over the world, keeping people warm and dry.
Sheltersuit Foundation also employs people who are distanced from the labour market in its social factories. The protection, warmth and dignity that the Sheltersuit and Shelterbag provide can save lives and give homeless people the respite they need to be able to look forward and address their situations. In addition, Sheltersuit’s re-use of valuable plastic material, primarily nylon and polyester, prevents these products from being wasted and avoids the loss of resources used in manufacturing.
The funding from Borealis will enable Sheltersuit UK to establish a presence in London, from where it can support homeless people across the UK.
Borealis is also supporting Caritas, a well-established non-profit organisation that has worked for many years with various vulnerable groups, including homeless people in Austria. Caritas Vienna has designed special winter care packages, which consist of a sleeping bag and the cost of a warm meal and a day’s stay in the Caritas homeless centre Gruft, in Vienna. This warms them up and prevents homeless people from dying due to freezing cold nights.
The Borealis Social Fund is supporting this life-saving initiative by financing 200 winter care packages for the winter season 2021/22. In addition, Borealis is providing Shelterbags and Sheltersuits for a pilot test among Caritas’s clients. If they prove popular with recipients, a larger number will be provided for the winter season 2022/23.
“We believe that businesses can only grow sustainably in a healthy, stable and just society and Borealis has a role to contribute to this,” says Dorothea Wiplinger, Sustainability Manager at Borealis. “Being warm, dry and not hungry are basic human needs that must be met, in order for people to start their reintegration into society. We are therefore delighted to support Sheltersuit and Caritas in their restless engagement.”
“Everyone deserves warmth, protection and dignity, which is why we fight to provide immediate shelter to anyone sleeping outside,” says a spokesman for Sheltersuit UK. “We greatly appreciate the donation from the Borealis Social Fund, which will enable us to reach people in the UK who need urgent protection when sleeping rough.”
“Social and economic sustainability go hand in hand. The Borealis Social Fund is taking an important step targeting environmental and social challenges by applying long-term solutions. Nevertheless, assistance in emergency situations is crucially needed. Every sleeping bag, safe shelter and warm meal makes a huge difference. We are grateful for the donation, enabling us to save lives,” says Judith Hartweger, Center Manager Gruft, Caritas.
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