Q: What are your opening hours?
A: Our drop in is open 9.30am-11.30am followed by small group activities. Please take a look at our activity Calender.
Q: Who can come to your activities?
A: Anyone. Give us a call if you’re interested on 883613 or come and visit us. Our activities are designed to be informal, low commitment and in small groups. We give people a chance to discover gifts improve their self confidence and learn new skills.
Q: What advice can you give?
A: The main areas of advice we do are around
- Homelessness and housing
We can help you apply to hostels or go through the benefits system to get money for a private rented tenancy. We also give support to sort out benefits issues and liaising with other agencies like gas and electricity companies. The Salvation Army runs a family tracing service. If you’re not sure, come and ask us and we can always put you in touch with someone who can help.
Q: Do you need second hand furniture donations?
A: Unfortunately we don’t have anywhere to store furniture so unless we can give it straight to someone who needs it or has recently moved.
So give us a ring on 01926 883613 especially if you have spare white goods, but you could also try Helping Hands Community Project on 07540310139 or Action 21 on 886438.
Q: Do you take donations of food?
A: Yes, we welcome donations of food, but please: - make sure the food is in date - has been kept refrigerated if necessary - if it’s a large amount let us know beforehand as we have very limited storage – ring us on 883613.
Q: So are you the same people as the Nightshelter / Helping Hands / Steph & Geoff?
A: No, although we do work with a similar group of people. We work closely with a number of other organisations around the town so that we are as effective as possible in helping as many people as possible. In particular we work with the Saturday Friendship Group, based at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, ESH Works, Helping Hands Community Project, Crisis Skylight and the Salvation Army Lifehouse (hostel).
Q: Where should I signpost someone I meet who is homeless or rough sleeping?
There are lots of services in Leamington for people who are homeless or rough sleeping. Please take a look at our 'first contact support' sheet for starters. Please give us a ring if you're not sure on 01926 883613.
Q: Should I give money to people begging on the street?
A: No. But please don’t ignore them either! Much better to stop and have a conversation or even just say hello or nod than pretend that they’re invisible. If you’ve got a bit of time and want to then buy someone a cup of tea or something to eat. If someone tells you a long complicated story about why they need a quid they’re probably not telling the truth! And if you give them money once, chances are they’ll ask you again.
However, if you’re concerned about someone please ask for their first name and come and speak to us and, bearing in mind issues of confidentiality we’ll see if we can advise about the best thing to do.
Q: Do people have to pay upfront to stay in a hostel or shelter?
A: No. Most hostel rents are covered almost entirely by Housing Benefit, although most places require a small weekly amount (normally less than £10) to cover service such as heating. Hostels and other supported accommodation are very flexible in arranging these payments as long as people have at least got a claim in for benefits. The only exceptions to the above is if people are working, failed asylum seekers or people from central / Eastern Europe who haven't done a year's work 'on the books'. Even then all shelters are free to access.
Q: Do you come and give talks at churches / school assemblies / coffee mornings?
A: Yes, time permitting. Please contact us on 883613.
Q: Why don’t people just sort drinking / taking drugs and sort themselves out?!
A: Most people start taking drugs (especially Heroin) or drinking to escape from a problem or something in their past. When people manage to break the physical addiction of taking drugs / drinking they then have to face the problem that they were originally escaping from. This means that people frequently relapse and sometimes have to go round and round before sorting themselves out. Falling back into old social networks is another key reason why people don’t change.
Having said this one of our values is that ‘people should take responsibility for their actions’. Drug and alcohol misuse might explain *why* something has happened, but it doesn’t excuse it. Challenging people and helping people to take responsibility for their actions can be empowering as they realise that they can take control of their lives.
Q: Doesn’t giving people food mean that they have more to spend on booze and drugs?
A: No, if you’re an addict your first priority is getting your fix and if that means not eating then so be it. We see meeting people’s basic physical needs as a way of engaging them and allowing us to build trusting relationships with them, so that when they’re ready to sort themselves out they know who to turn to.