People reminded how to help rough sleepers in Wiltshire
Wiltshire Council is advising residents of the best way to help those sleeping rough this winter as the cold and stormy weather settles in.
The council works with rough sleepers throughout the year to help them find a place to stay and support to get back on track. The work is carried out alongside a number of charities which offer practical support as well as longer term aid.
If people see someone on the streets they can contact StreetLink as it connects rough sleepers with local services that can support them.
People can also donate to a number of local charities which will directly help those in need.
Cllr Phil Alford, Cabinet Member for Housing said: "We know it is really difficult when you're busy Christmas shopping or generally out and about and you see someone who is on the streets. We know people want to do something to help and it often feels the easiest thing is to give money. We want people instead to contact us on Streetlink as we will act on the information sent to us. People can also donate to local homeless charities where the money is used to provide a range of practical support and advice. It is much better to provide support in this way.
"We have support systems in place to help those sleeping rough in Wiltshire and to provide them with a warm place to stay. Our officers will ensure they have access to medical treatment including the vaccination programmes for both COVID-19 and flu."
Wiltshire Council works closely with a number of local charities who also seek funding to help provide the support. More details is below with the charities websites offering information on how to donate.
Doorway Project - in Chippenham provides support including hot meals, showers, laundry, internet and referrals to physical and mental health services or support with benefits and housing issues.
Salisbury Drop-In Centre - Alabare based in Salisbury provides support and aims to assist people to overcome barriers and help them to take steps to improve their quality of life. The objective is to provide key support at the earliest opportunity in order to reduce further negative personal impact and potential homelessness. It provides laundry facilities, support in budgeting and debt management and maximising income. It helps to direct them to support services and helps with healthy eating cookery workshops.
Devizes Opendoors in Devizes is another charity providing practical support so people can have a shower, access the kitchen, have space for food and clothing and computer work spaces.
Breakthrough Trowbridge, in Trowbridge provides 'first-line' support in the running of the drop-In centre. It helps those in need to access the services provided by local authorities & support organisations.