In a word…anyone in need
Hope runs a wide range of services for anyone in need:
- People on low incomes who need help with food and clothing
- People who need advice, advocacy and signposting
- People with mental health issues
- People with addictions
- People who are homeless
Our hand up and foodclub services are for those with the most acute needs arising from poverty and disadvantage, including in the hand up service, rough sleepers, sofa surfers or the street homeless. Some people stay on people’s floors, on sofas, or on beds in cupboards. For some people this can last for years. Many come to Hope’s day centre each day as they cannot stay in the places they sleep during the daytime.
Another group of people who access our services do have somewhere to live – but it may be of very poor quality and overcrowded. Terrible private rented properties where water runs down the walls and there is perhaps no heating in the winter, even though it is occupied by older people.
Some have their own flats but may have been previously homeless. They may have to share with other tenants who are aggressive and bullying, or use drugs, or commit crimes, or make lots of noise. They may be unable to afford to heat the flat, or pay for hot water or food. So they come in to us for help, advice and food.
It goes without saying that living in these circumstances often leads to chronic problems of substance misuse and mental ill-health. Sometimes, it was these problems that led to poverty and homelessness in the first place, but often they follow them. We welcome everyone and try to help people overcome these issues – and many more, from childhood or sexual abuse, problem gambling, physical health problems, debt, offending…..
Some people come along to our services who don’t have any housing problems at the moment, but simply benefit from activities and therapeutic support for issues like mental health or addiction.
Our other service users
People who access our Learning 4 Living to improve employability may be from a referral from probation, the Job Centre and other charities. They will all have specific needs, but they have been referred to us for help to move towards employability because of our expertise with people a long way from the labour market.
Our therapeutic gardening project is open to anyone who will benefit from being in the open air: older people, disabled, people with mental health or addiction problems, people with learning disabilities.
Some of our volunteering opportunities are valuable to a wide range of people with social needs, who seek company, or something to do.
In our food club, we supply food to people on benefits: everyone we see is on a low income and strives every day to make ends meet. They may not all have the challenging issues our hand up service users face, but their lives are still hard, on incomes that do not cover rent, heat, clothes, and food.