Tag Archives: rough sleepers

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St Dunstan’s Church Youth Club members spent the night of Friday 20 November enduring a little of what our rough sleepers have to face every night. Youth worker Chris Trent (pictured left below) with Michael Tomlinson MP says: “We survived albeit a bit cold. Slept well and woke late with parents waking us up.” R2R Trustee Gabi joined them to talk about the work of Routes to Roots and share some of the guys’ stories. She says: “The young people were great, asking very sensible questions about what it was like to sleep out and how come people ended up in this situation. They were keen to hear the personal stories. It was a good evening, which the group hopes to promote to other churches and schools to get more people involved next year.”



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Many thanks to Quaker Homeless Action for a grant of £3000, which will be spent on the renovation work at Amos House, our supported accommodation for three of Poole’s rough sleepers.
We still need to raise money for the ongoing costs of this housing. Want to help us win funding this Christmas? Starbucks has nominated us to make some noise and win a ‪#‎RedCupGrant‬. Tweet @R2R_Poole with ‪#‎RedCupCheer2015‬ up until Dec 6th and make some noise!
Please help us win funds by sharing our project on Facebook/other: ‪#‎RedCupCheer‬.



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Thanks to the support of a national Christian social enterprise, Routes to Roots is now able to offer supported accommodation to three of Poole’s rough sleepers. Green Pastures has bought a maisonette, which will house three Routes to Roots’ clients and Routes to Roots is now in the process of repairs, redecoration and furnishing to enable them to move in.

The three clients will each have their own bedroom and share bathroom, kitchen and living space. Routes to Roots will work closely with them to support them as they take this first step back into society. The charity is conscious that, in order to maintain their accommodation once housed, many people require significant support if they are not to fall back into homelessness because they are unable to cope alone with paying their rent and bills, making benefits claims and job applications or are still struggling with alcohol or drug addictions.

Routes to Roots’ numbers on homelessness are broadly in line with national statistics and housing shortages for its client group are particularly severe in Poole. Sadly, many of those who are on the streets are long-term rough sleepers or people who recycle into homelessness. Although the official Poole street count in November 2014 found just seven rough sleepers in the town, Routes to Roots has records on 17 people who were either rough sleeping or sofa surfing at that time – and they were only the people who came to the charity for help.

This new venture has already won support in the community with Highworth Insurance employees undertaking a wide range of fundraising activities to be able to provide some of the white goods needed for the kitchen. A team from the Footprints Life Works Project and a local professional builder have agreed to help with the renovations at minimal cost and the charity is approaching other local groups for volunteer help and donations in cash and kind.

Revd. Pat Southgate, Routes to Roots Chairman, says: “For Routes to Roots this is, of course, pastures new and we go into it with our eyes open and well aware of the challenges ahead. Compared to the stone cold concrete of a town centre car park, where they are most likely to currently reside, this accommodation is a major step forward. We have been assured by Green Pastures that they intend that this property will be the first of many they are willing to obtain for us and we are grateful to them for their faith in us and commitment to the rough sleepers of Poole”.

Despite having nearly 700 bed spaces throughout the UK this is Green Pastures’ very first partnership in the region and one of only a handful on the South Coast where the need is so great.

“Meeting the team at Routes to Roots was an amazing time”’ says Pastor Pete Cunningham, Director of Green Pastures. “Sitting round a table and discussing the needs of the homeless in the area with such an enthusiastic group, who were ready to launch out in the deep to meet the needs of those that are vulnerable. It was a truly inspiring afternoon. Now we have succeeded in purchasing the first of what I hope will be many homes to begin to end homelessness in Poole. I am praying that the blessing of God that makes rich and adds no sorrow will be their portion.”


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The winter months can be very difficult for those on the streets. There are provisions for overnight accommodation if severe weather conditions come into force but this doesn’t cover those periods of relentless rain and low temperatures that are not quite low enough to trigger the emergency provision. Routes to Roots aims to assist rough sleepers to at least start their day with some hot food. In 2013-14 our Big Breakfast for rough sleepers ran for 3 weeks less than in 2012-13 but the number of individuals assisted rose to 40, the average number of rough sleepers per week increased by 33% and the number of breakfasts claimed rose by 38%. Hence the continuance of our appeal to offer rough sleepers a good hot start to their day in the cold. For the fifth year, The Fisherman Café on Poole Quay is providing the guys and girls who are sleeping rough with a cooked breakfast during the winter months. This costs £3.50 per breakfast. If R2R are to continue this level of support, we need to raise £2,718 (inclusive of all overheads) and are delighted that people continue to show their support for this vital service.

December 2014 (5 weeks from 29th Nov): average 8 clients/wk; 20 individuals assisted; 95 breakfasts claimed
January 2015 (3 weeks to 22nd Jan): average 14 clients/wk; 25 individuals assisted; 107 breakfasts claimed

2015Big Breakfast-3

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Routes to Roots, in association with The Fisherman Café and for a short period The Kings Arms, has again been able to provide a much needed hot breakfast to rough sleepers over the winter months. This year the service ran from the end of November 2013 to the beginning of April 2014, a shorter period of 18 weeks in comparison to 21 weeks last year when the weather in April was severe.

In that shorter period, the number of individuals assisted has risen to 40, the average number of rough sleepers per week accessing the service has increased by 33% and the number of breakfasts claimed has risen by 38%, 826 breakfasts over 18 weeks compared with 604 breakfasts over 21 weeks – indicating an increasing need amongst our clients. 

Pictured here is one of our rough sleepers. Routes to Roots is grateful to The Fisherman Café, The Kings Arms and to all those funders who have made it possible to make this service available to rough sleepers. This proves a real lifeline to our clients.

When asked why it was important to have a cooked breakfast, another R2R client, Paul Ford said “five nights out of seven there is only cold food available – it gives you one hot meal a day at least – some nights can be rough and it’s good to get camaraderie back – it does lift you after a crap night”. Paul was recently housed in emergency accommodation and whilst he was delighted with this, one thing he did miss was having the hot breakfast and the opportunity to catch up with mates. 

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The Debs at The Fisherman Café took a well-deserved break to visit family. But they didn’t just shut up shop and leave our guys ‘out in the cold’ – No way!! They made arrangements with their neighbours on the High Street, Nicky and Dale at The Kings Head, to cover the days they would be away and to continue the cooked breakfast provision for rough sleepers. Nicky and Dale had a great time taking care of the guys for a few days and the guys really appreciated the breakfasts. So a very big Thank You to the Debs for organising and Dale and Nicky for providing.


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StreetLink posterIn September 2013 StreetLink, a new campaign to help rough sleepers, was launched across Dorset.
Over 2000 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on any one night in England. The Department of Communities and Local Government recorded 39 rough sleepers across Dorset in 2012. In the Poole area the annual street count conducted in November 2012 found 16 rough sleepers – an increase of 25% over the previous year (and the highest ever seen by Routes to Roots).
New research shows that nearly half (48%) of all adults said they felt guilty when they see a rough sleeper and do not know the best way to help; 46% would welcome an easy way to take action. The Streetlink Service comprises a telephone line, website and app to enable concerned people to help connect rough sleepers to the local advice and support that may be available to them.
People can take action by making a phone call, through the website or by downloading the free app. Posters giving this information will be displayed at libraries, medical centres and other locations across the county, and stickers will be displayed on parking meters.
StreetLink is an England-wide service, run by the charities Homeless Link and Broadway, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and supported by the Dorset Rough Sleepers Partnership (a partnership of all the six Local Authority housing departments in Dorset). The Dorset Rough Sleepers Partnership has also adopted the government’s official ‘No Second Night’ policy, ensuring that rough sleepers do not have to spend a second night sleeping rough on the streets in Dorset. It has been awarded £304,000 for this purpose.
Cllr Peter Adams, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing, Borough of Poole, said: “By signing up to Streetlink, housing authorities across Dorset are offering residents a simple way to help people they see sleeping rough. It is never easy to witness a person in that situation and a call to Streetlink could make a massive difference to someone.”

Tel: 0300 5000 914 (24-hour)

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Poole Outreach Support Team can put rough sleepers in touch with services and agencies who can help them address a range of issues, such as debt problems, substance misuse or whatever issues have led them to living on the streets.
The Outreach Team will be out in Poole between 6am and 8am, Monday to Friday They operate drop-in style sessions between 10am and 12 noon, Monday to Friday, and can also accompany people to appointments as needed.
Contact: 07966 808802 / 07985 998904
Outside of office hours, please call our 24 hour support service i-Support: 01202 410611
For further information, click on the link:
POSTer 2012

National Rough Sleeping Phone Line Launched
StreetLink, developed in a partnership between Homeless Link and Broadway, allows concerned people to connect rough sleepers with local advice and services they may not be aware of.
Telephone hotline: 0300 500 0914
Website: http://www.streetlink.org.uk