A NEW website has been launched in Fareham to help support homeless people to get off the streets.
The website features information and access to support from all the agencies who play a part in helping people ‘sleeping rough’.
Called Fareham Street Aid, the new link looks to take a more supportive collaborative approach and have involved key agencies including in Fareham’s Community Safety Partnership, Fareham Housing, Two Saints Hostel, One Community and Acts of Kindness. The police and council are also involved.
The website explains how people can support the homeless through donations or volunteer work and also provides contact details for charities who can collect and redistribute donated goods.
A key focus of Fareham Street Aid is to encourage people to donate to the charities rather than individuals.
‘It is better that people give to the charities that support rough sleepers, and have staff specifically trained to help, rather than giving direct,’ explained a charity representative.
Georgina Shane, of Two Saints Hostel, added: “If you donate money through our website, we’ll use it to directly help people who are homeless, vulnerable or in need of support. Just £5 will provide socks and toiletries and a donation of £20 - £40 could provide a ‘move on pack’ including kettle, iron, cutlery, crockery and tea towels for someone ready to return to independent living.’
The hostel also use donations to pay for transport costs to enable people to attend important appointments and provide clothes and equipment for work or college.
The website is the latest approach taken to try and tackle the area’s rough sleeping situation.
Last year a Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) was introduced in Fareham town centre. This was designed to tackle those acting unlawfully or anti-socially.
The PSPO made it an offence to drink alcohol, beg or sleeping rough when asked not to do so by a police officer.
Speaking at the time, Councillor Shaun Cunningham expressed reservations about using PSPO’s as a potential solution.
He said: ‘The issues of homelessness and antisocial behaviour in the town centre needs to be resolved but the PSPO’s I believe aren’t the right way to solve the problem.’