A Warm Welcome

Man and woman laugh at a group session in a hostel

Costs for basics

Welcome packs of toiletries, underwear, socks, and basic foodstuffs are provided for people when they first move into a scheme from the streets.

Identity papers such as replacement birth certificates and driving licences are funded so that people can access health care, benefits, training, and work.

Clothing for individuals who often have nothing more than what they are standing up in when they arrive at a hostel. As little as £50 can provide someone with smart clothing for an interview, a warm winter coat, or specialised uniform for a new job.

Living expenses for migrants who are waiting for their asylum claims to be processed and cannot work or claim benefits. We provide this funding through Housing Justice’s Migrants’ Destitution Fund.

Travel costs cover bus or train fares to attend appointments, college, volunteering opportunities, and job interviews. We also pay for travel to reconnect with friends and family.

A Street Buddies outreach volunteer walks down a sunny street

Outreach

Those with lived experience of homelessness understand best how to talk to those still on the streets. Street Buddies is a peer mentoring programme, based in Westminster, made up of volunteers who were once rough sleepers. They help people still on the street to make use of support services and build the confidence and skills they need to leave the streets for good. The programme provides opportunities for both the volunteers and the rough sleepers they help to transform their lives permanently.

For David, who had been on the streets for almost forty years, the idea that anyone could offer him a way out of homelessness seemed impossible until support worker Gary, a former rough sleeper himself, spotted him.

Gary says: “In my job as a part of the Street Buddies team I am able to use my own experience when I make contact with rough sleepers. David had refused help from many outreach agencies, but once I won his trust I could work with colleagues to get him into one of our specialist care and support centres, where we could help him look at the support he needed.”