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Safer off the Streets – Helping to end street homelessness the right way

Safer off the Streets –
Helping to end street homelessness the right way

Peterborough Street Pastors is part of seventeen local voluntary, faith, community and public service organisations who have formed a new ‘Safer off the Streets’ partnership. The partnership will work together to tackle street homelessness in Peterborough and currently includes the following initiatives:

  • A new contactless card donation point at the Argo Lounge in St Peter’s Arcade, off Bridge Street, allowing people to make an instant £3 donation using their bank cards.
  • A Safer off the Streets website www.saferoffthestreets.co.uk – an information hub which allows people to find what support is available and to make online donations quickly and easily.
  • Cash donation boxes will also be placed at Peterborough Town Hall and the Visitor Information Centre, among other spots across the city.
  • Dedicated Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, @sospboro social media channels.
  • A new Safer off the Streets drop in hub located at The Garden House in Wheel Yard, will be open six days a week and offer support such as GP and health advice, housing guidance, volunteering activities and CV/job search.
  • Outreach officers will work with individuals offering personalised plans and a clear offer to support them off the streets, made easier with a co-ordinated schedule for night shelters, food donations, cooked meals, volunteers and transportation, as well as in-shelter support services.
  • A Rehabilitation package will be set up to help rough sleepers, aiming to take them from the first point of contact into night shelters, training, and ultimately housing and/or employment.
  • Peterborough Winter Night Shelter – This Winter season the night shelter will be running from 26 November until 18 March. Ten churches are working together to host our homeless guests and warm meals and beds, with loads of love and support to help people get off the streets will be offered.

Christine Graham, Chair of the Safer off the Streets Partnership said: “Rough sleeping is the most visible and unacceptable consequence of homelessness. A recent count showed that 35 homeless people were sleeping rough on Peterborough’s streets. Although there are many agencies across the city doing much to tackle the issue of rough sleeping, we felt a more targeted approach was needed. That’s why charities and organisations across the city have joined up to create a network of support to help people who are sleeping rough, but also to look at ways to prevent and support people so they don’t end up on the streets in the first place.”

Christine added: “We also felt that although the people of Peterborough are already empowered to help, they are unsure about the best way to do this.  Donations, however big or small, make a real difference to homeless and vulnerable people in Peterborough. We’ve now made it easy to donate money online, at cash donation points and a contactless card donation window. The website and social media will also keep people up to date on support available and to find out what items are in need.”

Christine using the contactless card donation point at the Argo Lounge

Donations received will primarily go towards funding the day to day running costs of the drop in hub which will provide advice on support services and health and wellbeing with any additional funds being used for personalised budgets for rough sleepers to encourage them to leave the streets for good.

Rev. Michael Moore signs the charter on behalf of Peterborough Street Pastors

So far 17 organisations that have joined the Safer off the Streets partnership include:

Axiom Housing

Care Zone

Children of Adam

Citizens Advice

Cross Keys Homes

Hope into Action

Kingsgate Community Church

Love and Humanity Peterborough

Peterborough City Council

Peterborough Food Bank

Peterborough Soup Kitchen

Peterborough Street Pastors

Safer Peterborough Partnership

Salvation Army

The Light Project

Veterans for the Homeless UK

YMCA Trinity Group

For more information visit: www.saferoffthestreets.co.uk

If you know of someone sleeping rough
please notify the council using the rough sleeper referral form. Alternatively, email: enquiries@saferoffthestreets.co.uk.

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