Business Connector brings together multiple partners to address homeless issues in Swindon

I met with Ram at St Lukes breakfast club to look at their challenges and what types of support they would like.  Ram explained that the breakfast club operates out of St Lukes church every weekday morning and offers free breakfast to the homeless.  The service is not funded by local authority so the charity raise funds to cover running costs and receive food donations to help.  I offered information shares of In Kind Direct and Fare Share introductions as relevant.

Ram also explained that the breakfast club staff sometimes felt despondent because they weren't included in homeless strategies for the town and sometimes received criticism from outside that they were sustaining homelessness by feeding those out on the streets.  Over time they felt particularly disconnected from Swindon Borough Council and from another homeless charity that is on commission from SBC to undertake outreach work within the breakfast club.  In essence they weren't receiving feedback on the impact of their work which was affecting volunteer motivation.

I tracked down the officer in charge off rough sleeping and homeless stategies for SBC.  We met and as expected the isolation of St Lukes was accidental.  A previous forum had disbanded and St Lukes had fallen out of a communication loop.  Nick agreed to come together with St Lukes and Threshold, the outreach workers to restate the strategy and the validity of the breakfast club which he saw as an essential part of identifying volume and identities of rough sleepers as well as prevalence of drug, synthetic drugs and alcohol abuse on the streets.

I arranged a meeting between all three parties so that each are now aware of their role in the jigsaw puzzle, St Lukes know who does what and the vital role that they play in assisting with homeless strategies in Swindon.

 

 

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thomas.craigie's picture
Hello Swindon! I have worked in our lovely historical town for almost 16 years and happily living...
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