Homelessness isn’t just the distressing sight of people sleeping rough in tents or shop doorways.
It’s also the young people who are sofa surfing, the families who are in temporary accommodation, and anyone who’s living at risk of violence or abuse in the home.
You can find a full definition from the housing charity Shelter:
Homelessness has been rising across the UK in recent years, and Frome is no exception.
The results can be devastating.
We’ve heard how homelessness can lead to mental and physical health issues, the loss of support networks, and an inability to work or even register for benefits.
Over the winter of 2018-9, Fair Housing for Frome set up an emergency cold weather shelter called Zero Nights for people sleeping rough in the town.
Our outreach projects have included the Big Red Housing Bus in April 2019, designed to reach out to families and to young people experiencing homelessness or insecure housing.
We’ve also created a leaflet about practical responses to homelessness in Frome. It includes information about what to do if you find someone sleeping outdoors, who they can turn to, and where they can find support such as free or low cost meals and specialist advice. You can download an electronic copy here, or pick up a printed leaflet at Frome Town Hall, Fair Frome and other locations around the town.
Over the winter of 2019-20, Elim Connect Centre has taken over the task of running the emergency cold weather shelter in Frome. A venue has been secured and a volunteer team is ready to go, largely consisting of volunteers from 2018-9. “We are very grateful for the work that Fair Housing for Frome has done last year in facilitating severe weather emergency provision for the most vulnerable rough sleepers in the community,” said Suzanne Addicott from Elim. “If you see someone rough sleeping please ring Streetlink on 0300 5000914.”
Meanwhile, FHfF will be carrying out a survey over the coming winter into what other facilities are needed in Frome for rough sleepers and other vulnerable members of our community, which we hope will lead to further projects to support homeless and insecurely housed people.