Doncaster Council – Helping the Homeless

Local News

We wanted to talk to you about something today that we know is an emotive issue, but one that we all cannot hide from and one that needs addressing.

We receive a lot of comments about why we are not working to support those who are homeless or rough sleeping. The truth is, we are and have been for a very long time.

Supporting someone who finds themselves homeless or rough sleeping isn’t an easy job. There are no quick wins and it takes time and patience to ensure that they get the help and support needed to help them break the cycle and stabilise their lives.

Many of those who find themselves homeless or rough sleeping are often not there out of choice. Sometimes circumstance and decisions can lead you to having nowhere to live and nothing to call your own. It can be a very dark place to be.

More than two years ago we set up the Complex Lives Alliance. This is a team of dedicated staff made up of different organisations, including us, Riverside Doncaster St Leger Homes Doncaster Aspire Drug and Alcohol Services South Yorkshire Police RDaSH NHS and others.

They have all been working together for the last two years, day in day out, trying to work with people who find themselves homeless or rough sleeping. Offering them advice about their finances, housing issues, help with their mental health or sometimes just a friendly face to speak to.

It’s not an easy job and can often be a very thankless. The teams come up against people who are often not ready to take the help on offer.

It has been suggested to us, on more than one occasion, ‘why don’t we just open up all the empty buildings in the town centre?’

This is not a long term solution. The Complex Lives Team want to make real changes in people’s lives, so they’re able to overcome the underlying issues that have brought them to where they are today.

Yesterday, they held a drop in hub for people who are homeless or rough sleeping. At the hub people could get help and advice from the experts including financial assistance, housing support, help to tackle addiction and mental health issues and medical teams were also on board to treat wounds. This was a chance to have a meal, a hot shower and speak to someone who is willing to listen.

This is only one of the approaches aimed at offering those who need it the help and support to take the first step to break the cycle.

We hope that we have given you a bit more understanding about how we work to support people who are homeless or rough sleeping.

If you know of anyone or see someone who could benefit from this help contact the Complex Lives Alliance on 01302 736 000.