In these times of austerity the need for our service has grown exponentially. Welfare reform, benefit caps and cuts to services has seen those most vulnerable be hit the hardest.
Streetlytes has always been about being realistic in what we can offer and what our drop in provides an environment where not only our guests can get a warm meal and place to rest but a smile and a listening ear.
This may not sound a lot when you consider the situations these people face day to day but the small respite from their daily grind gives them hope, to meet people who were once sat where they sat with that same desperation and fear goes a long way to starting to build their bridges back to independant living.
Our Workshops provide guests with basic practical skills and our peer support groups gives them a safe comfortable environment to express themselves without fear of judgement or humility.
With your kind donations we have been able to carry on throughout the year. Homelessness is not a seasonal problem; it is becoming more and more apparent, and while we can't promise a miracle, we can offer a ray of hope.
This winter has hit real hard in London. There is an increase of homelessness - especially with the influx of Eastern European coming from abroad. We believe that no matter what the issues are in one's life, we believe that everyone should be treated with dignity and with respect. This is why we offer the gift of hospitality at our drop in where we make the homeless feel welcome.
The Night Drop-In is vital support program for the homeless as the majority of homeless support programs and Day Centers are closed during the evenings. Currently we provide services for over 650 homeless people per month. We provide a three course meal, mentoring and case management services. We have translators for our Eastern European beneficiaries and refer individuals to detox centres, rehabilitation programs, support and help with job centre applications, birth certificates and most importantly housing. We now have volunteers who have legal experience in the areas of EU law and immigration to help beneficiaries in their legal matters.
We eat with our guests, laugh and share together. Love, compassion with a dose of humor is the equation we use when engaging the homeless. We cut through the chase. We provide a wonderful three course meal, sleeping bags and the essential life saving provisions such as socks, thermal wear and more importantly a smile and a hug.
Since our reopening on the 10th of September our homeless guests have increased by 25%. We now feed over 500 monthly and we are preparing for the Winter with survival equipment. Our volunteer based has increased as we have two additional corporate sponsors.
We are able to house two homeless individuals into a studio flat and now they are giving back to Streetlytes by way of volunteering.
Who Do We Work With
The total numbers of beneficiaries we work with are approximately 650+ per month. The median age of our beneficiaries are between 25-60, with 80% male, 15% female and 5% gay, lesbian and transgender. The types of beneficiaries we work with are chronic rough sleepers, hidden homeless and those in the throes of alcoholism and substance misuse.
Training Courses: Streetlytes-UK provides training in 4 times per year to up-skill their tools of engagement with the homeless and vulnerable with 16 in attendance this year. Training is available for all volunteers working in our kitchen facilities and this is a Food and Safety Catering Course – Level II, and, as a result eight volunteers have completed the course in 2011-2012. We provide first aid training under the auspices of the British Red Cross and sent 25 volunteers this year. The average hours that a volunteer will work is 5 hours. We have approximately 10+ volunteers working at each of our drop in centres and have a pool of about 75 volunteers in total.
What difference WE have made
The Film Food and Fellowship project in partnership with St. Stephens Church in the last three months has provided hot nutritious meals for over 700 homeless and vulnerable. We have also provided over 200 sleeping bags and hygiene kits. This project specifically caters to Eastern Europeans who do not quality for benefits and we are grateful to provide immediate provision of food and clothing.
We are grateful to BBC who has provided the films for our guests. The films provide the guests the opportunity to engage in dialogue and discussion after the movie.
We also have a medical van which provides light medical services to our homeless guests and also provides referrals to supporting health organizations.
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