Trust and decency is easily abused. But sometimes, just sometimes a simple good deed can prove the difference between living and surviving. Every weekend hundreds of people from all walks of life are found with genuinely nowhere to go. With little help from the authority’s available vulnerable people are subject to the danger of becoming a victim to crime or having to commit crime or beg in order to survive. In today’s day and age this should not be an issue, yet still homeless people on the streets of the UK are over nine times more likely to take their own life than the general population. People become homeless for lots of different reasons. There are social causes of homelessness, such as a lack of affordable housing, poverty and unemployment; and life events which cause individuals to become homeless. With your help, what we pledge to offer is an unjudgmental, unabusable care package including simple components overlooked by many as basic human rights.
We are working to build a team of volunteer outreach workers who will patrol the streets of Leeds every night of the week looking to provide assistance or simply moral support to those who are left with no one to turn to.
With £1000 we plan on creating an emergency supply bundle containing information on all the support available to homeless people in the city with the aim of helping them off the streets as soon as is practically possible. This will include how to access homeless support services, such as: Framework, St Annes Resource Centre, St Georges Crypt, Leeds Housing Concern, emergency food providers and Housing Aid information ready for the Monday morning so they are equipped with all of the information that they require. These packs are designed to enable someone to survive up to 3 nights on the street and our hope is the Crowdfunder will enable us to create enough Homeless Survival Packs to last the rest of the year.
The survival packs will contain:
- shampoo (£0.80)
- toothbrush (£0.13)
- toothpaste (£0.25)
- deodorant (£0.80)
- comb (£0.50)
- razor (£0.19)
- body wash (£0.50)
- chapstick (£0.42)
- small first aid kit (£2.00)
- thermal socks (£2.33)
- hat (£1.31)
- gloves (£1.49)
- £10 gift voucher to be redeemed for food from Tesco
- emergency light weight snacks (£1.00)
- bottled water (£0.10)
- a local resource support guide
- space blanket (£0.60)
- in winter or when it's cold or wet a sleeping bag (£12.74).
By providing people with emergency rations and details of where to get free food and drinks this reduces the need to beg or commit crime to survive. In addition, it will enable us to signpost people at an early stage which could prevent long term homelessness. We are already working to train volunteers on how to work with homeless people and how to identify those who are genuinely homeless, sleeping rough or begging and how to signpost them to the most appropriate care.
As a result of our project we hope that we can reduce the stigma surrounding homeless people by reducing the need for begging or to commit crime to survive and to intervene when individuals are at their lowest point whilst also showing them love and care that will encourage them to seek further support.
If you see someone sleeping rough or asking for money because they are sleeping rough you can easily signpost them to Street Support 0113 245 9445.in the knowledge that they will get assessed quickly.
In summary, the project offers people a practical way to help people who are rough sleeping when you aren’t sure what to do but would like to offer some direct support. If we exceed our target we will create more homeless survival packs, if we create more packs than Leeds needs we will distribute them to other cities starting in West Yorkshire and if necessary or able spreading further afield. Thank you for your time.