Many people may be wondering ‘What is happening with Sleepsafe this year?’ With social distancing regulations in place due to Covid-19, Sleepsafe is unable to be hosted by churches this winter. In previous years, Sleepsafe supported rough sleepers trying to access accommodation and local services with temporary beds in multiple churches in the local area.
Sleepsafe was a very effective programme, which has helped 200 of people off the streets over the last 5 years. There are plans to reopen once social distancing restrictions are lifted. Sleepsafe was well-supported with over 300 of volunteers providing a real sense of family and community within every church that made space for rough sleepers to sleep and build friendships. In 2020, some ex-Sleepsafe guests formed a lived-experience group called ‘Streetvoice’ to help shape the work of BCARS.
What happens now?
Throughout Sleepsafe, three important needs for rough sleepers were identified: to have purpose, activity and friendship. All of these are crucial to help those coming off the streets to stay off the streets and move into a place of thriving, not just surviving. Out of this need, a new and innovative project, Staysafe, has been created.
What is Staysafe?
Staysafe is a new and innovative project offering daytime support for people who have gotten off the streets and are in emergency or temporary accommodation. We deliver purpose, activity, and friendship at a church venue througout Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. We welcome ex-rough sleepers who want to be active and feel that they have purpose. The overall aim is for our guests to get connected to community where they can build healthy and forward-looking relationships. Individuals have opportunities to improve their situation, to keep from returning to the streets and find a way out of just surviving to thriving in life.
How do those on the streets get help?
The important message for those who are rough sleeping is that help is available. Every person who finds themselves on the streets is a valued part of our community and there are many people across BCP who care and want to help. The St. Mungo’s Rough Sleepers Team can be contacted for help with getting off the streets or to chat to if there is a concern for someone on the streets (01202 315962). Additional support, including where to find a meal and what to do in an emergency is available on our find help page.