How to help change a life
At any time of year – but especially when it is wet or cold, it is hard not to notice and worry about the number of people sat on the streets, in doorways and under subways. Whilst most people will have a bed for the night, anyone sitting outside all day is likely to appreciate some support.
So how can you help?
Alert the professionals
If you see a homeless person or someone who looks to be sleeping rough you can let the relevant people know where they are, and when you saw them through the Street Link app.
The app alerts the council’s housing solutions team and their partner organisation who can go and check what, if any, help the person needs.
The council is committed to helping people to permanently get off the streets. They can provide support and emergency accommodation for eligible people who finds themselves homeless. They also have access to a 20 bed facility called Clare House which is available via referral from housing solutions.
In very cold weather (below freezing) they have additional facilities available for people who have nowhere to sleep, so regardless of their situation everyone can be kept safe and warm.
Support a local charity
There are a number of charities/organisations that help the homeless and those in various stages of poverty:
- The Welcome Centre – provide food packs for people who have been referred to them by front line services including Huddersfield Mission and Housing Support.
- The Huddersfield Mission – provide a cafe/drop in service for homeless people – you can buy a voucher from them to give to a homeless person so they can buy food/drink and take advantage of the support on offer.
- Bread of Life – a local drop in centre in Huddersfield for anyone who needs support in the community
- Dewsbury Minster – offers free soup and a sandwich to the homeless Monday to Saturday, between 9.30 and 10.30am (limited to 3 people at a time). Socks, hats, toiletries and other things are often available from the voluntary bank
- Baptist Church (Drop-in), Wakefield Old Road, Dewsbury, Monday & Thursday 1pm-4pm. Offer a free hot meal and a night shelter is open when the temperature is below 0°C
- CHART (Choices for Health, Addiction and Recovery Team). Has offices in Huddersfield and Dewsbury
- St Matthews Centre – supports single homeless people with support needs
- Basement Project offer a Crisis Café on Wednesday 9 to 11.30am in Dewsbury and Thursday 9 to 11.30am in Huddersfield. Then housing advice every 2 weeks on Mondays 2.30pm
- Fusion Housing, has offices in Huddersfield and Dewsbury offering free confidential advice on all housing and housing-related matters for people aged 16 – 30
By supporting a local charity/organisation your money can be used to provide practical help to people on the streets.
Give small things
A hot drink, some food or small items of warm clothing can all make a difference to someone’s day.
Remember furry friends
A four-legged friends can be a rough sleepers’ only companion and both owner and pet may be grateful for a kind gesture like buying dog food.
Dogs that belong to rough sleepers or those in a housing crisis can get free veterinary care from the Dogs Trust Hope Project
Don’t be pressurised
We know Kirklees is full of caring, giving people and by following the hints above you can make a difference – but we also know it’s not always possible for you to get involved and that is fine too.
It is also important that everyone feels safe and secure when visiting our town centres. Seen something that concerns you? Please report it