Supporting the homeless this Christmas

3:41pm - 17 December 2021

Residents are being urged to report any concerns they have about people rough sleeping during the Christmas period.

Anyone worried about a rough sleeper is asked to contact Street Link through their website by ringing 0300 500 0914 or through the Street Link app.

Street Link is a national charity who connect rough sleepers with local services. Once Street Link has been alerted, the outreach team will locate the person and offer them support.

North Somerset Council offers anyone sleeping rough support and a pathway to help them come off the streets for good. The council's homeless prevention team work alongside other partnership agencies to establish a way into support and accommodation.

This includes personalised plans, post-tenancy support and the completion of referrals to the council's letting team, emergency accommodation and supported housing projects. 

North Somerset Council is currently preparing a three-year bid for funding alongside a long term plan to end the need to sleep rough in North Somerset.   The council also works closely with YMCA Dulverton Group who have outreach workers who work alongside Sirona community matrons and council officers to carry out welfare checks, provide medical support and help people access the support they need with regular walks through the week, including early morning walks.

Somewhere to Go Day Centre also offers a warm welcome to anyone in need with showers, food and access to nurses. They have charging points for mobile phones and lockers for the storage of personal items.

Keysteps provides additional support. The charity, which was set up by local churches, helps people in North Somerset by offering them a deposit bond. Key Steps plays an active role in housing single people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness in North Somerset.  

Churches Together Weston District (CTWD), is an umbrella group that exists to develop greater co-operation and communication across churches in the area and to help these churches make a difference in our communities.

Cllr Mike Bell, North Somerset Council's executive member with responsibility for housing said: "Our ambition is to get everyone off the streets and to end rough sleeping in North Somerset for good. We are doing everything we can to provide support to rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness with accommodation. There is much good support available locally from charities, faith groups and the council, but despite this some people will still find themselves on the street. 

"The very best way for residents to help is by letting us know about any individuals you might be concerned are sleeping rough through our Street Link service and by supporting local charities who can make sure people in need are connected with the right services.

"At this time of year, more than any other, we think of those who most need our help and compassion. I am very grateful to all those volunteers and staff who work throughout Christmas and New Year to rise to this challenge."