Reaching out to Bristol’s homeless

Words: Amy on July 16, 2018

Our ethos is that housing must come first, however with our current resources, we are unable to house the 200 plus that is homeless in Bristol.

Our container project is the heart of Help Bristol’s Homeless, but do you know that we offer many other services to the homeless in Bristol?

One such service is our weekly outreach and led by our team of volunteers; our outreach service has become a lifeline for many of the street homeless in our city.

What is outreach?

Outreach is a term used for an act of providing services/provisions to people that might not otherwise have access to them.

In our case, we provide a service to the homeless.

To do this; we offer support to those who need it and signpost people to other service providers when required.

We also give out hot meals, drinks, food packs, clothing, sleeping bags and many other essential items that are needed to survive on the streets.

Why is outreach so important?

Dave is homeless, and he told us; “If you guys didn’t do the outreach, I would have to beg for food. You guys help me to keep my dignity, and for that I am grateful.”

If you guys didn't do the outreach, I would have to beg for food. You guys help me to keep my dignity, and for that I am grateful.

Our outreach work is vital because it gives us the opportunity to speak with the street homeless and assess their needs. With the information we gather; we can then create a solid action plan to tackle the issues at hand.

We asked some of our volunteers why they think outreach is so important.

After being homeless; Nick is now one of our residents, and he has become a regular volunteer for our outreach service. Nick told us that the outreach is having a positive impact on the homeless community and that once he moves on, he will continue to volunteer because of the positive impact it is having.

John is a dedicated outreach volunteer. He told us that there is clearly a significant problem in Bristol. John believes that the outreach we do is an excellent way for us to help the homeless and also raise awareness. He expressed that through our outreach service, he has seen many people want to join the team.

Clea is 15 years old and one of our youngest volunteers. Clea told us that it’s okay to help people and that when doing the outreach you get to see the different side of the homeless and realise that they are just like us.

Doing the outreach you get to see the different side of the homeless and realise that they are just like us.

We are so grateful to all of our outreach volunteers. Their commitment and dedication is the driving force behind our outreach service, and we couldn’t do it without them.

We’d also like to say a massive thank you to the local businesses that support our outreach by donating food and other items. Their contribution goes a long way to helping us to help those in desperate need.

Shout Outs!

Greggs bakery – For providing a massive amount of sandwiches, rolls, cakes every week.

Early Years Catering – For providing hot food and cake every week.

Carly and Red Bus Nursery, Downend – For their yummy food each week.

Tina from Long Ashton – For cooking a delicious stew every week.

The British Corner Shop – For providing fortnightly food including biscuits, drinks, crisps, nuts, raisins and other bits and bobs.

Facebook community – For their continued support through sharing our call outs and the many donations we receive. You guys are AWESOME!

What to get involved?

Justine moved to Bristol a year ago and noticed how many people were on the streets. On a personal level, it affected her, and she has now become a valued member of our outreach team. Justine told us that she sees Bristol as a massive community and that as a community we should help each other.

If you are like Justine and feel moved to get involved, all you have to do is visit our Facebook Events Page, select the next outreach date and register your interest. It’s as simple as that!

We believe that “Together we can make a difference.” Join us today and help us change the face of homelessness in our city.

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If you’re homeless and need a helping hand, get in touch. We’re here to help.

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