Banner image

City promote homeless services alongside council

City have partnered with Bristol City Council to promote the services on offer to those at risk of homelessness across the city.

The campaign aims to encourage people to take the first step of accepting support, as letters from people who have been homeless are being placed around the city, including Ashton Gate Stadium, in a bid to reach out to people in similar situations.

The letters aimed not only at rough sleepers, but those at risk of becoming homeless, include pleas from the authors to access help available from the council and other support services.

John said: “At 17 I started sleeping rough and was addicted to drugs. At that time all I had was my bedding, nothing else.

“There were a lot of services trying to help me, but at that point, I wasn’t ready. Thankfully people didn’t give up on me.

“After 13 years on the streets I tackled my addiction and got into supported housing. I am living proof that there is a different life for you. You just need to be ready to reach out and take it.”

In another letter Danni, aged 24, shares how an abusive childhood found her living in hostels and vulnerable. She says: “I eventually reached out for help. I’m in a much better place now and even have hopes and dreams for the future. I could have given up a number of times, but I’m still here, and I am still fighting.”

"Homelessness is not something that can be worked out over night.

"Collectively we can all make a positive change to tackle homelessness and improve the lives of those in our community and beyond.

"I’m in and I want to help."

Rene Gilmartin

One of the key messages of the campaign is how important it is to get help early. Working with partners, the council offers a range of prevention services including a welfare rights and money advice service and a Youth Homelessness hub (Bristol Youth MAPS) to help young people to stay with their families where possible. These interventions stopped more than 3,600 people from becoming homeless in 2018.

In the same year organisations collectively helped more than 900 people who were homeless, via a range of support services including the successful St Anne’s Winter Night Shelter.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, has made tackling the issue of homelessness a top priority and is working with partners to continue reducing the number of rough sleepers by ensuring everyone has a safe place to sleep.

He said: “I would like to thank John, Lola and Danni for being brave enough to share their stories, and I hope it will encourage other people to take that first step towards getting help and turning their lives around.

“These three very different experiences help us to understand that there is no one size fits all solution. Homelessness is complex, and everyone’s individual circumstances are different. We are working with a wide range of partners to end homelessness in Bristol, but one of the most important messages I want people to take from this campaign is get help early.

“There is a lot of support and services available that could help keep you in your home, but the longer you leave it, the more difficult it becomes. If you are worried about your situation, or about someone close to you, please do reach out for help.”

In line with the challenge nationally, Bristol has seen an increase of people sleeping rough over the past five years and the last quarterly counts have found an average of 117 sleeping rough on the street.

Speaking on the campaign, City's Rene Gilmartin said: "Homelessness is not something that can be worked out over night. Collectively we can all make a positive change to tackle homelessness and improve the lives of those in our community and beyond. I’m in and I want to help."

Think you or a friend or family member might be at risk of homelessness? It is vital to seek advice as soon as possible. It is much easier to get the help you need before you find yourself homeless. Click here for more information.

Taking early action can avoid reaching crisis point. There is good advice and guidance available online: CAB, MA. There are also advice and support services available in Bristol: ACFA, ACORN and Relate.

Read Danni, Lola or John’s full story here.

Latest News

Robins Lotto winners (August 7th)

Robins Lotto winners (August 7th)

Posted: Friday, August 7th 2020

New deal and loan for George Nurse

New deal and loan for George Nurse

Posted: Friday, August 7th 2020

Cundy links up with Cambridge United

Cundy links up with Cambridge United

Posted: Friday, August 7th 2020

City Women opening fixtures revealed

City Women opening fixtures revealed

Posted: Friday, August 7th 2020

Also from Bristol Sport

Josh Wilcher - The first interview
Basketball icon

Josh Wilcher - The first interview

Josh Wilcher hopes to make an immediate impact for Bristol Flyers following his arrival from south coast rivals Plymouth Raiders.

Posted: Friday, August 7th 2020 • Basketball

Flyers sign Josh Wilcher on two-year deal
Basketball icon

Flyers sign Josh Wilcher on two-year deal

Bristol Flyers are delighted to announce the signing of Josh Wilcher from the Plymouth Raiders on a two-year deal.

Posted: Friday, August 7th 2020 • Basketball

Bears High-Performance Centre formally opened
Rugby icon

Bears High-Performance Centre formally opened

Bristol Bears are delighted to formally open our new world class training facility ahead of the 2019/20 season restart.

Posted: Friday, August 7th 2020 • Rugby

Gallery: Bears Women begin stage one training
Rugby icon

Gallery: Bears Women begin stage one training

Bristol Bears Women returned to Shaftesbury Park this week as stage one training began ahead of the 2020/21 Premier 15s season.

Posted: Thursday, August 6th 2020 • Rugby

Win a digital content campaign with Bristol Flyers for your business
Basketball icon

Win a digital content campaign with Bristol Flyers for your business

Enter your business for the opportunity to win a digital content campaign with Bristol Flyers during the 2020/21 campaign.

Posted: Thursday, August 6th 2020 • Basketball