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Off The Streets

by Emmet Perry in Westcliff On Sea, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 7th December 2021 we successfully raised £2,231 ( + est. £136.25 Gift Aid ) with 52 supporters in 42 days

To provide food & accommodation for homeless people including support with employment, training, addiction, abuse and mental health issues.

by Emmet Perry in Westcliff On Sea, England, United Kingdom

Off the Streets is a grassroots charity providing emergency and transitional housing and life skill training for rough sleepers.   We have been offered the opportunity to acquire a hotel locally which will enable us to help accommodate up to 10 rough sleepers.  We need a paid person to manage the new shelter. The funds are to cover this person’s salary for the first year or parts thereof depending on the amount raised.

Before our previous shelter had to close, Off The Streets provided emergency beds for up to 5 homeless people on overnight stays.   The new property will provide for up to 10 people within the 7 bedrooms - 3 double and 4 single rooms.  One of these rooms on the ground floor will offer appropriate access for a disabled guest. In the past, rough sleeping couples have had to be separated and we were unable to offer any form of accommodation to disabled homeless people. We also plan to provide food for our guests donated by local restaurants, shops & bakeries.

Due to Covid 19, our London Road shelter was forced to close in March 2020 because of the communal nature of the sleeping arrangements. Combined with the additional emergency accommodation, the acquisition of the hotel will allow the charity to support more homeless people to find more permanent accommodation and it will be able to provide improved services to its guests, including training to improve life-skills. Our goal is to focus on building guests’ confidence &  independence.

During lockdown, Off the Streets supported rough sleepers into bed & breakfast but many were subsequently asked to leave as they couldn't cope with this type of accommodation. During this time also, our Outreach work was curtailed and many people got 'lost' within the lockdown restrictions. There was a strong feeling that many homeless people contracted, went undiagnosed and therefore untreated for Coronovirus.  Mental health and substance misuse also saw a sharp increase within the homeless community. 

In addition to accommodation, we plan to have a variety of support services accessible from one place to help encourage engagement between guests and other services. This would include services such as benefits advice, support for those seeking employment, support with mental health & wellbeing and substance misuse.  We also plan to enable greater access to community based organisations to promote greater social inclusion. Rental payments will be introduced paid for via Housing Benefit.

To date, Off the Streets has relied exclusively on volunteers to provide services and support homeless people within the Southend and surrounding areas. However, once we take on the new property, this will need to be run & managed by a suitably experienced person on an employee basis, if the project is to succeed. Our target will cover this person's salary for the first year.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£100 or more

2 of 50 claimed

Name Plaque

For every £100 received from a single donor, the donor's name will be entered onto a board/plaque which will hang on the entrance hall to the new property throughout the first year.

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