Lancaster District Street Aid raises money to help former rough sleepers access the sort of life essentials which could help them stay off the streets for good. As one man who benefitted explained, “me and my family were in a very hard situation and this helped a lot. Sometimes people fall on hard times and to have this service helps people feel normal.”
The initiative was launched at the beginning of 2021 by Lancaster District CVS and Lancaster City Council, working in partnership with Lancaster BID, Lancaster and Morecambe police, and local homelessness support agencies. It provides the public with a cashless way of making a real difference, and an alternative to offering money on the street.
Another person helped with a grant told us that “it is a life changing thing being able to access funds like these. Street Aid not only improved my life, it significantly changed it for the good”.
Generous contributions from people across the Lancaster district create a grant pot which support workers from organisations such as Acorn, Let’s BeFriends or Calico can apply to. The sponsor organisation receives and spends the grant on behalf of their client on the agreed goods or services, meaning that the items requested genuinely make a difference and the system is not abused.
Street Aid has now raised over £6,000 which has been spent on helping over twenty former rough sleepers move on from homelessness. It has funded training courses to help people get back their former careers, travel passes, replacement identification documents, and household essentials such as mattresses, freezers, dryers and carpets. Creating a more comfortable home and a meaningful life is an effective way of helping people stay away from the streets.
With winter on the way we are once again appealing for donations to keep the Street Aid fund topped up and able to continue to help people who want to turn their lives around.
Contactless donations of £3 can be made at the tap of a card or phone on terminals located across Lancaster and Morecambe, or by texting STREET to 70450 (text costs £3 plus one standard message). Larger donations can be made online at totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/streetaid
To find out more, and to see a full list of contactless donation locations, visit lancastercvs.org.uk/streetaid