Safer off the Streets Peterborough
Citizens Advice Peterborough has joined with organisations from voluntary, faith, community and public service organisations, to launch a multi-agency partnership, called Safer off the Streets (#SOSPboro), to bring together a more targeted approach to tackle the issue of rough sleeping.
Rough sleeping is the most visible and unacceptable consequence of homelessness. Alongside the number of people sleeping rough in Peterborough, there are many other individuals and households living in temporary accommodation and experiencing homelessness in our city.
Although there are many agencies across the city doing much already to tackle the issue of rough sleeping, we felt a more targeted approach was needed. All the partners in Safer off the Streets believe that everyone has the right to a home, to have hope and to feel part of a community, that’s why charities and organisations across the city have joined up to create a network or support to help people who are sleeping rough, but also to look at ways to prevent and support people so they don’t end up on the streets in the first place.
The Safer off the Streets partnership’s initiatives include:
A contactless card donation point at the Argo Lounge in St Peter’s Arcade, off Bridge Street, allowing people to make an instant £3 donation using their bank cards. The ‘Tap and Go’ device can be used through the glass and is available at all hours, with donations going directly to the partnership to aid rough sleepers in the city.
A Safer Off the Streets website – www.saferoffthestreets.co.uk – an information hub which allows people to make online donations quickly and easily, as well as providing details on locations where people can give food, furniture or other items or volunteer their time. The website also details where rough sleepers can find support across the city and sources of help.
Cash donation boxes placed at Peterborough Town Hall and the Visitor Information Centre, among other spots across the city.
Dedicated Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media channels providing up-to-date information, support available, and donations needed – @sospboro.
A Safer off the Streets drop in hub at The Garden House – led by Light Project Peterborough – will be reaching out into the city to offer practical support to rough sleepers who want to develop and move off the streets. In partnership with Peterborough Cathedral, numerous churches and the wider community, The Garden House drop in hub, located in Wheel Yard, will be open six days a week and offer support such as GP and health advice, housing guidance, volunteering activities and CV/job search.
Outreach officers who work with individuals offering personalised plans and a clear offer to support them off the streets. Safer off the Streets will co-ordinate schedules for night shelters, food donations, cooked meals, volunteers and transportation, as well as in-shelter support services.
A Rehabilitation package will be set up to help rough sleepers, aiming to take them from the first point of contact into night shelters, training, and ultimately housing and/or employment. These will offer training, jobs, and workshops, and give people the chance to participate in a ‘befriending’ scheme where volunteers can act as sponsors for rough sleepers in their first 12 months off the street.
Peterborough Winter Night Shelter – The night shelter has been running since 2015 and has supported over 150 homeless people in Peterborough. This Winter season the night shelter will be running from November until March. Ten churches are working together to host our homeless guests and warm meals and beds, with loads of love and support to help people get off the streets will be offered.