Barnsley rough sleeper service urges those worried about losing their home to ask for help early
Volunteers at an outreach service which provides food, aid, clothes and a sympathetic ear to people on the streets has appealed for anyone who is struggling to pay their bills to ask for help early, to prevent homelessness before it happens.
Michelle Kaye, part of the team at Barnsley Churches Drop-in Project, based at Temperance House in the town centre, said that rough sleepers are the “tip of the iceberg.”
Michelle added that early intervention is the best way to prevent homelessness, and urged anyone who is experiencing money or debt problems and is worried they may lose their home, to contact the council early.
“Because we deal with families, particularly because of the Covid eviction ban has been lifted, it’s a different cohort,” said Michelle
“I’ve seen a lot more people that work who have been furloughed, the homeless ‘market’ has shifted completely.
“If you’re struggling to pay your rent, your mortgage, or you think you’re struggling, you’re going to get kicked out – come and get advice early.
“It’s easier for us to work with people while they’re still in accomidation, because we can negatiate with landlords, helping with paying rent areas – but if they’re homeless and they present with their kids and bags, then there isn’t a lot of options.
The service already has a number of volunteers, but needs more hands on deck at weekends.
Volunteers would help to put together food bags to give to service users, and organise donations at the base at Pitt Street.
Peter Mulrooney, executive committee member, said: “It’s quite true to say that because our numbers have now increased – I think we’re getting close to 50 per night, and we’re giving away 50 bags of food per night, our expenses are increasing.”
The service is currently in need of Pot Noodles, biscuits, orange juice, crisps and Cup-a-Soups.
If you would like to donate, volunteer or access help, please contact Barnsley Churches Drop-in Project on Facebook.
If you are worried about losing your home, please contact Barnsley Council on (01226) 773870, or fill in the online form here https://my.barnsley.gov.uk/form/Housing-advice-enquiry/your-details