The Charity Routes To Roots

Who Are We?

Routes to Roots is founded on Christian principles and supports rough sleepers, vulnerably housed (sofa surfers or in B&Bs) and newly housed (formerly homeless) adults in Poolee regardless of their faith.

At five drop-ins we provide basic necessities, such as showers, hot food, clothing and sleeping bags, and offer outreach access to the Poole addictions team, mental health workers, Poole rough sleeper outreach team and housing advisers.

Since November 2015 we have provided supported housing for three rough sleepers, working with the local authorities to move them on into independent accommodation.

We were first registered as a charity in 2002 and became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in 2014. In July 2015 the Bishop of Sherborne, Karen Gorham became our Patron.

What Do We Do?

Over the years, as our financial support and volunteer network have grown, we have been able to extend our activities and we have become able to do more to develop long-term outcomes for the total wellbeing of our clients through providing one-stop access to health and housing services and offering other support for them to become more rooted in the local community.

Outreach: R2R has established a hub for health and wellbeing outreach at our drop-ins. We have brought in the appropriate agencies who can provide assistance in resolving a range of problems that  keep people on the streets, for example a Community Mental Health Team Nurse, Homeless Health Nurse, Essential Drugs and Alcohol Services and referrals to Substance Misuse Assessment & Referral Team.

Providing Basic Necessities of Life: R2R provides a hot meal five-six times a week, showers during drop-in hours, breakfast for rough sleepers during the cold weather months, clothing, sleeping bags, and practical assistance for those moving into accommodation, as needed. We also signpost rough sleepers to other support such as Salvation Army shower facility and breakfast provision and local Soup runs.

Prevention and Social Inclusion: R2R works with those who are currently housed, including those in our own supported accommodation, to help minimise the risk of repeated homelessness. We give support to those who are in danger of losing their tenancies through whatever means, such as non-payment of top-up fees, etc.

Engaging the Local Community: R2R offers opportunities to groups, businesses and individuals to volunteer, support and fundraise. To inform, inspire and raise awareness in local businesses, schools, community groups, and churches, R2R volunteers give presentations and talks about the charity’s vision and mission.

Advocacy: R2R monitors the current situation for homeless and vulnerably housed people in Poole and acts as an advocate for them with police, local government and services.

Other Services For The Homeless In Poole

Early Morning Outreach Provided by St Mungo’s: From April 2017 St Mungo’s, under contract to BCP Council, has provided early morning outreach to rough sleepers in Poole and Bournemouth and is responsible for Severe Weather Emergency Provision. SWEP is now located at the URC Hall in Skinner Street, Poole and St Mungo’s attends R2R drop-ins to work with rough sleepers.

Soup Runs Provided by Local Churches: Five nights a week local churches supply hot food and snacks under the Arch near Poole Train Station. Many of the churches meeting this need have been involved with the soup runs for many years. Some of the churchs involved are Poole Vineyard Church (from 1998), St Mary’s Longfleet Church, Beacon Church on Canford Heath, Poole Christian Fellowship, St Michael’s Church of England in Hamworthy and its sister church St Gabriel’s in Turlin Moor and Water’s Edge Church.

Salvation Army: The Salvation Army in Poole offers the homeless breakfast and free showers between 10 and 11.30am on Friday mornings at their premises in New Orchard.

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