Food and Fellowship for the Homeless in London

by Streetlytes UK
Our New Van
Our New Van

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.

Food Bank
Food Bank
Monday Night Prep
Monday Night Prep
In the Heart of what matters
In the Heart of what matters
Winter Season - Streetlytes
Winter Season - Streetlytes

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

  •   One of the meaningful outcomes derived from our Drop In Centre at the Salvation Army and St. Stephens was the community spirit of local business and shops within the vicinity of our Drop Ins.  Their unreserved involvement came by way of volunteers and donations of foodstuffs which helped to cut down on costs and become self-sustainable.  Major appreciation goes out to Markel International, EMI, Gail’s Bakery, Whole Foods Market, Sainsburys and Greggs Bakery. 
  • Another important aspect with the cohesiveness of the Christian spirit of mentoring and hospitality through working together for the greater good of our guests and the unconditional offering of hospitality.
  • We were able through our Letting Agents house another eight rough sleepers into independent living flats.  EMI Music donated their time and money in helping to paint and decorate the flats.
  • Because of our location at St. Stephens we have an influx of Eastern Europeans who for the most part do not qualify for benefits and they fall under the net in regards accessing supportive services.  We made inroads by bringing aboard translators which were able to assist these individuals obtaining lost passports and other documents.  Also we were able to assist in tendering legal advice as one of our volunteers is a immigration solicitor.
  • Service User Led Volunteering – Streetlytes believe in service user volunteering as this a confidence building measure and gives them meaningful experience.  I would like to cite two case examples.  Kevin McKenna – engaged Streetlytes 2 years ago – homeless and addicted to drugs.  Today he is now our Project Manager at St. Stephens overseeing the engagement of 250+ homeless monthly.  Chris Wilson – started as a volunteer and because of the indelible impact of serving the homeless he changed his career and will be soon be employed at St. Mungos at a Project Worker.   Owen Cook engaged Streetlytes 3 years ago – homeless.  Today having volunteered with Streetlytes he has now obtained a job with a Hotel.
  • Streetlytes also donates food and winter survival equipment to various winter night shelters as we believe partnership is essential towards making a difference in the lives of the homeless on a wider scale.

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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Organization Information

Streetlytes UK

Location: London, Greater London - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​
Streetlytes UK
Project Leader:
Rudi Richardson
London, England United Kingdom

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