Homeless people face barriers to obtaining eye tests, glasses and eye care. One third has never had an eye test and a further third not for at least ten years.
Homeless people suffer a higher level of eye problems than the general population. They need glasses to look for work, find accommodation and keep safe.
Most homeless people miss out on having eye care under the NHS, so simply cannot afford glasses. Less than a third is eligible for NHS support when we see them.
Using volunteers, we run weekly opticians’ clinics for homeless people in London (3 clinics), Brighton, Birmingham, Manchester, Exeter and Leeds. We also operate a domiciliary service in London. Overall, we provide eye tests and glasses free of charge to 1,800 homeless people each year.
Our impact video
Maintain our 8 static clinics with equipment, volunteers and training.
Use our mobile project in London to demonstrate effective ways to help homeless.
Open 13 new clinics in cities around England and Wales within 5 years.
Launch an opticians bus to travel to areas of need & address gaps in provision.
Partner with high street opticians to launch an annual Homeless Eye Health Day.
Persuade government to adjust regulations to give fairer access to NHS eye care.
Start up costs to open a new clinic for 184 patients
Cost to run 8 clinics for 1,800 patients per year
Cost to operate pilot domiciliary service in London
Cost to start opticians bus for 233 homeless people a week
Cost to start Homeless Eye Health Day & reach 1,600 annually
We reach 1,800 homeless people each year with free sight tests and glasses. Our feedback and research suggest few would receive eyecare without us.
Our research has revealed that homeless people have much higher eye pathology. Our eye tests have diagnosed and prevented potential sight loss.
A third of homeless people have never had an eye test & a further third not in 10 years. We use our research to ask NHS to give them better access to eye care.
Speaking to our homeless patients we discover that they needed glasses in order to find accommodation, obtain or retain employment, or simply to stay safe.
We run opticians clinics for homeless people working out of day-centres in major cities. Using volunteer optometrists, dispensing opticians and assistants, we provide professional sight tests and glasses where needed free of charge to anybody who is homeless or without means.