Are all people who sit on the street homeless?
No, some people who sit on the street are not homeless but may be begging for money, and others may be homeless. Not all homeless people beg. This is a personal choice and many factors may affect this.
Homeless people can present in all different ways, and a lot of people can make assumptions about an appearance that a homeless person may look like.
Should I give money to someone sitting on the street?
This is a personal choice, however we are working with the local police who are trying to tackle begging as they have found people are being misled by some people begging. We would suggest that if you see someone sitting on the street, to direct them to us, or alternatively give us a call (01423 566 900) with their location and description. You may also like to give them a hot drink or food, or alternatively donate money to us directly which you can do via our website https://www.justgiving.com/hhp or by giving a monetary donation at our hostel so we can then support them off of the streets if they are homeless.
Do people need to pay to access the Harrogate Homeless Project?
No. There is no fee to come into our rough sleeper’s scheme NSNO, and people do not need any money to get a bed for the night. We have been asked a few times lately about this after members of the public being advised this by people sitting on the street; if people are street homeless they do not need money to get in, and if accessing NSNO, they will have warm shelter with basic food and drink provisions overnight from 8pm-8am. The hostel, which is a possible accommodation option for some NSNO service users, charges £14 per week to stay here. The Harrogate Homeless Project works around people’s benefit claims and financial problems and sets up reasonable repayment plans to ensure that someone can access our services.
Is there a provision for when the weather gets cold?
The local authority, which in this case is Harrogate Borough Council, has the duty to provide Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP) when severe weather is forecast. A temperature and wind chill factors are considered by the local authority and if the temperature goes below a certain degree, which is set by the local authority, then SWEP will be activated. It is dependent on the local authority as to what is provided, and can be tailored to individuals’ need for shelter.
Unfortunately SWEP has not run this winter (2017/18) due to the lack of a suitable premises. Due to this, the Harrogate Homeless Project have been running an enhanced service from the hostel, offering greater support overnight to any rough sleepers or homeless people who present, allowing greater access into NSNO as well as providing hot food and drinks on the door step. Provisions such as warm clothing and sleeping bags have been given out throughout the winter, and service users have been accommodated within hotels and B&B’s when the weather has become severe.
What can homeless people do in the day to get support?
The Harrogate Homeless Project has a day centre which provides a free hot meal to anyone who is homeless, shower and laundry facilities and a lounge and dining area where people can also stay warm, this is located at Springboard, behind the Wesley Chapel in Harrogate town centre. Our friendly staff and volunteers can also help to enable service users to access different services such as healthcare and help with benefits. There is a computer and a phone for service users to use, and staff are trained to help with computer and phone use. Springboard also has a drop in GP surgery on a Thursday 11am-1pm for all Springboard service users to use if needed.
What kind of donations do you need?
We heavily rely on donations that members of the public and organisations kindly offer to keep our services running. The majority of the food that our service users eat is donated, and the donations we receive at Harvest Festival and help to Christmas keep our hostel and day centre supplied with food all year round. We always need grocery donations, and particularly need things like:
- Tinned meat and fish
- Cooking oil
- Dilute juice
- UHT milk
- Tomato Ketchup and Mayonnaise
- Fresh or frozen meat
We also often need toiletries and cleaning products, for example deodorant, razors and multi-purpose cleaning spray.
We also take donations of household products and furniture, however this varies and due to limited storage, if you could phone ahead to enquire (01423 566 900) about what we need, that would be great. You could also check our Facebook page for up to date posts, where we sometimes request donations.
What should I do if I see someone sleeping rough in Harrogate?
You can call the Harrogate Homeless Project on 01423 566 900 to notify us of their location and a description of them, or alternatively you can notify via the nationwide website https://www.streetlink.org.uk/ who finds the relevant service to inform to help the rough sleeper; this is useful if you are not in Harrogate as it works throughout the country. If you do speak to the person sleeping rough you might want to establish whether they are homeless and aware of the local services, and if not, direct them to us.
What is the best way to help the Harrogate Homeless Project?
We welcome volunteers who can help at our day centre in the weekdays between 10am-2pm or at our hostel on any day between 7-10pm. We also welcome enquires about volunteering different hours. If you would like to know more, please email our volunteer coordinator, David (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call us (01423 566 900).
We heavily rely on donations, see our ‘what kind of donations do you need?’ on our FAQ section on our website.
Monetary donations are also a massive help, as we need funding to keep our services running. We depend upon financial donations, and our service is only able to continue because of this. If you would like to make a financial donation, you can do via our website https://www.justgiving.com/hhp or by giving a monetary donation at our hostel in the form of a cheque or cash. You can also set up a standing order or follow details about this via our website http://www.harrogate-homeless-project.org.uk/how-can-i-help/
Fundraising is another way to help, and if you take a look on our Just Giving page, you will see that some people have done things like running marathons and climbing mountains in aid of us!
You can also sponsor us to provide a certain service, so for example if you are particularly interested in supporting our day centre, springboard, it has 20 chairs that our service users sit on – you can sponsor a chair for just £100 a year!
For more information about the above, or to discuss a sponsorship or fundraising event, please get in touch on 01423 566 900.