Help Rough Sleepers by Getting Our Van Going Again

by The Simon Community in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 20th December 2019 we successfully raised £5,440 with 34 supporters in 28 days

We need to raise £8500 to replace our broken van, enabling us to provide food, support and shelter for London's rough sleepers through 2020.

by The Simon Community in London, England, United Kingdom

Join the Big Give and Help Rough Sleepers by Getting Our Van Back on The Road/ Back in Action

This December, we need your support to raise £8500 to replace our broken van through the Big Give. Our van is vital for outreach to provide food, support and shelter for London's rough sleepers this Christmas.

“At Christmas and New Year they were out several times a day when no-one else was.”


The Big Give

We are taking part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge between 3 and 10 December. Your donation during this period will be match funded, meaning you can make double the impact with every pound. 

What we do

The Simon Community is one of the oldest homelessness charities in London, and through its longstanding links with the community has managed to support rough sleepers that other services struggle to engage with.

Every night, more than 3000 people sleep rough in London. But finding them a bed for the night isn’t enough. Almost one in six people sleeping rough return to the streets after being rehoused. We provide outreach and give rough sleepers a therapeutic environment and community support to help them escape the streets.  

We help entrenched rough sleepers to rebuild their lives and their relationships with each other, and with the wider community. Getting over what can be decades on the streets, and what led to them being there in the first place, takes patient, long term care. We provide a range of services, from food runs, to street cafes, to evening centres to long term accommodation. We make ‘today’ better for London’s rough sleepers.

“They come out in a van in all weathers no matter what, they come to you, you don’t go to them.”


Why We Need Your Help

We use our trusty van to take out food, drink and companionship to around 500 rough sleepers who are least likely to engage in other services, on almost every day of the year.

Sadly, after years of service it needs to be scrapped because it no longer meets new emissions requirements. This means that we can no longer take out our volunteers with food and hot drinks to engage rough sleepers throughout the week. 

Those rough sleepers depend on our support. It's literally a matter of life and death for them.  

“We all wait for David, he brings us our last cup of tea, and if we urgently need something like shoes or a coat, he will bring them with him next time he comes.”

— John, rough sleeper

But we don't stop there. We help these long-term rough sleepers to gain in confidence by volunteering to help other people, who are still out on the streets. Eventually, up to 75% of those in our long-term accommodation move on from a life on the streets. But we stay with them throughout their lives, if necessary. In that sense we are like no other homelessness project. We give rough sleepers a community to be part of and support those for whom no other provision exists. 

“I was a Simon Community resident. I started helping out by going out with the van to soup runs and the day centre. Last year to my surprise and joy I was given an opportunity to be a helper in the winter shelter. The previous year I had slept in the shelter now I was helping to run the same shelter.”

— Phillip, ex resident


What your donation will buy

This Christmas we need your help to help us buy a new van, and a little extra to fund our outreach services throughout the year. 

The money will pay for: 

£5000 to raise the last amount needed to purchase a (second hand) van to take our fleet of 200 volunteers out to support rough sleepers, day and night throughout the year.

£1,100 will pay for us to do a soup run to 100 rough sleepers over the winter months.

£2,400 pays for half of our street outreach costs to 500 rough sleepers across the year.

Our organisation does so much with so little. We have only two paid staff, and they support 200 active volunteers.

Remember, your donation will be doubled if you donate by the 10th  December 

Thank you for your support.

Rachel, Jim and The Simon Community Team

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