Nottingham joins forces to get people off the streets this winter

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06 Oct 2016
by Victoria Harrison

Organisations that have regular contact with homeless people in Nottingham are joining forces to help get people off the streets.

 This coming Monday, October 10 (World Homeless Day) will see the formal launch of the new Homeless Winter Survival Project – a collaboration between Framework, Nottingham Street Pastors of the Malt Cross, and Biffa.

 In response to the growing rough sleeping crisis in the city, Framework and the Street Pastors are forming the new Street to Stability network – a collaborative initiative to support any local groups and organisations that come into regular contact with people sleeping rough on our streets.

 This new appeal, which will be unveiled at a forum event at St Nicolas’ Church, Nottingham, seeks to extend and coordinate existing provision and to:

  • Get rough sleepers off the street and into accommodation in life-threatening Winter conditions
  •  Provide survival packs for rough sleepers  to provide food, water and basic essentials
  •  Train 80+ volunteers to recognise, respond and offer support to rough sleepers

 The event will bring together members of community groups, faith groups, businesses, local authorities, the NHS and emergency services, who will be invited to their experiences of working with rough sleepers. Attendees explore best practice, and to ask what more can be done. They will all be asked to join the Street to Stability Network. 

 Existing support in Nottingham includes Framework’s Street Outreach Team, which offers 24 hour support via a telephone hotline and daily outreach in the early hours of the morning; day centres operated by charity and community groups; the Winter Night Shelter and night-time support from the Street Pastors. The event will also bring together concerned citizens who want to learn what more they can do to help people in need.

 Jason Marriott, head of Framework’s Street Outreach Team who walk the city streets in the early hours of each day to find and offer support to rough sleepers said: “Rough sleeping figures are the highest they have been since the late 1990’s. There are a number of charities and groups providing different streams of support and at this time it is important for us all to learn from each other and work together to intensify this help. It is great to see so many different partners coming together to try and understand and tackle this growing concern. As a leading homelessness charity Framework truly believes that we can end rough sleeping, and the support of the community and our partners is vital in ensuring we can achieve this.  I would strongly encourage anyone concerned about homelessness in their community to attend and discover ways in which they can act to support our efforts.”

 Jo Cox-Brown, Chief Executive of the Malt Cross and Nottingham Street Pastor’s said: “The Malt Cross and Nottingham Street Pastors are delighted to be working with Framework on the Winter Homeless Survival Project. Framework is an excellent charity who shares many of the same values as we do. We realised that as a group we couldn't let an increasing number of people face the harshest edge of homelessness, without acting to do something. We believe that it’s not ok that in civilised society, people still have to face the reality of sleeping rough, especially as the temperatures plummet and we wanted to empower citizens, charities and businesses alike to fill the gap and together care for those who are most vulnerable.  The accommodation and survival packs will undoubtedly save lives this winter.” 

 Biffa the waste management organisation have already shown support by sponsoring the event and offering £2,000 of match funding for donors. At Biffa staff are given awareness training to check waste disposal units for the presence of rough sleepers. This protocol frequently saves the lives of homeless men and women who would be in real danger when a container is emptied.

 Concerned members of the public are welcome to attend the event and meet guests and people who will make up the street to stability network. Guests can register at www.homeless-survival.co.uk/event The meeting is at St Nicholas’ Church, Maid Marian Way, NG1 6AE on Monday October 10th from 12-2pm.

 People in Nottingham City can also assist by reporting rough sleepers who need help on Framework’s 24-7 homelessness hotline on 0800 066 5356.

 Donations can be made to the Winter Homeless Survival Project at: www.homeless-survival.co.uk/donate

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