This priority will build on the existing Parish initiatives supporting local Homeless charities and hostels. Where possible, diocesan financial support from restricted funds for such activities will be used to add value.
Both parishes and statutory agencies recognise that initial assessment of rough sleepers may be very negative focusing on their difficulties and challenges rather than their skills and interests. Community support can play a vital role restoring hobbies and interests and engaging them in community life.
- To build on the existing support aiming to have a Food Bank collection, or similar, in every parish.
- To give support to those parishes engaged directly in Winter Night Shelters, and encourage other parishes in key town centres to engage with Winter Night Shelters.
- To report on the feasibility of re-purposing unused presbyteries and religious buildings as ‘Move On’ properties where former rough sleepers integrate with the community rather than being supported by homelessness charities.
- To create a culture of helping people with a background of homelessness.
- To work for the alleviation of homeless refugees and migrants in our communities.
- Create links with the community mental health team and other agencies.
- Help parishes work with homelessness charities to broker positive activities such as chess clubs and volunteering opportunities.
- Encourage parishes who don’t already have a Food Bank collection, or similar, to start one.
- Help parishes share resources with regard to local collections for Food Banks or similar initiatives.
- To map and support Winter Night Shelter activity.
- Identify what facilities properties need to home vulnerable people (CCTV, license, insurance, Warden) and assess if this is feasible for unused diocesan properties.