Working together to respond to Homelessness and street begging.

Every year TCTW organises a meeting for local churches and those involved in delivering support or services to the homeless in Warwickshire.

Our most recent meeting was attended by P3, Helping Hands and the local police as well as many interested church members. We had an update on the current situation and services available to help those we see in need.

We also discussed the best way to respond to the need we see and thankfully since our last meeting Helping Hands @Gateway Café Castle Hill Baptist Church has become a positive way to engage with people who are street begging or homeless as we can let them know about the café which is open Wednesday – Friday 10-4pm. In the café they have suspended meal vouchers, a pay what you want scheme, access to sleeping bags and further support. They encourage the homeless to volunteer with them and can help with qualifications and a pathway to employment. They also make referrals for housing and benefits advice, counselling, rehabs etc. There are also volunteer opportunities for people from churches and you can purchase vouchers to give people who are street begging. It is also a great place to have meetings or pop in for coffee/lunch/breakfast so please support this much needed provision.

There is also the Foodbank at Saltisford Church on Friday afternoons that has a café offering free food we can signpost people to.

Other responses that were agreed upon was the production of an up to date information sheet for local churches listing services and helpful information. An emergency accommodation solution in preparation for the winter months was also suggested and there will be funding made available for accommodation at local B&B's for those who present themselves in need at local churches.

If you would like more information on these initiatives or would like a copy of the notes from the meeting please contact Stacey Bains.