Many areas offer drop-in services for adults who are experiencing homelessness and are vulnerable. They provide programmes of activities that are aimed to engage and provide meaningful respite from the stressfulness of street living or isolation and loneliness. They may also offer assistance and advice with signposting to appropriate services to help individuals achieve their goals and dreams. We work closely together with other local agencies and with our business partners.
On a more basic level, we offer a provision of clothing and toiletries to individuals in need and have a small amount of blankets that we can hand out when needed. We may provide food parcels, hot meals and hot drinks and a postal address service and valuable documents’ storage.
But our service is not only about the things on offer, it’s also about the people who come in; people in real life situations, facing tragedies, difficulties, struggling (sometimes it would seem almost endlessly) to triumph over adversity. But we are fuelled by the good news stories of people who have been through a tough time, but who have finally overcome their difficulties and are in a better place now.
The Salvation Army in Eastbourne runs a day centre for people who are sleeping rough and sofa surfing, with space to relax, watch TV, read a book or play games. There is access to computers to search for jobs, free advice and support, as well as the opportunity to meet organisations that offer help with all kinds of problems.
No.10 is a day centre and drop-in offering services to those experiencing homelessness in the Westminster area and strives to offer assistance to all who seek help. Around 5,000 people visit the centre every year. Of these the vast majority (63 per cent) were sleeping rough.
Staff at the centre provide a weekly programme of activities aimed at engaging clients and providing meaningful respite from the stress of street living, isolation and loneliness. Staff also offer assistance and advice four days a week during our advice and enquiries sessions and deal with more complex cases through one-to-one meetings. In more complex cases, such as legal or immigration matters, we will refer people to the appropriate services.
Clothes, blankets and toiletries are available, while staff often give out food parcels or make referrals to the local food bank. Staff also serve a free a hot meal once a week during the Wednesday evening drop-in session.