How to help the homeless in Bristol this winterPosted on: 15 Dec 2021
Find out how to do your bit for a growing number of Bristolians experiencing homelessness during one of the toughest times of the year.
The festive season is upon us, and while this time of year is an opportunity for people to get together with family, celebrate and take a break, it can be incredibly difficult for some.
Homelessness in Bristol and across the UK is on the rise once again in 2021, with Shelter estimating that as many as 91 families are currently being made homeless every day in England, and Centrepoint reporting a 40% rise in youth homelessness nationwide over the past five years.
In May of this year, a Bristol City Council housing official announced that the number of people across the city requiring temporary housing had more than tripled during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although the outlook is bleak, as homeless people and rough sleepers are facing some of the harshest weather conditions of the year, there are several projects and organisations offering help and advice.
Read on to find out how you can support people affected by homelessness in Bristol, through donating to or volunteering for a range of inititatives.
Thousands of people will be spending Christmas in a car, tent or doorway with nowhere to call home.— Shelter (@Shelter) November 25, 2021
They're are giving all they can to get off the streets, will you give too?
Donate to support our work and give hope to families facing homelessness https://t.co/108wWVluWb pic.twitter.com/U3q7vSMuI1
Volunteer with Help Bristol's Homeless
Help Bristol's Homeless is entirely run and operated by volunteers, so they're always looking for people to get involved and help out in any way they can.
The team are currently on the lookout for skilled tradespeople and DIY-minded volunteers, as they continue to convert shipping containers into micro-flats in and around Bristol. Browse all their volunteering opportunities here.
This Christmas, Help Bristol's Homeless are also looking for donations to their Christmas Shoebox Appeal, collecting warm clothing, toiletries, supermarket vouchers and more for people in need.
Thank you to everyone who has supported our Christmas Shoebox appeal so far ???????????????? we wonder if we’ll get more shoeboxes donated than last year?! #Bristol #Christmas #helpbristolshomeless pic.twitter.com/a1PEXoWMsX— Help Bristol's Homeless (@HBHomeless) December 12, 2021
Support Feed the Homeless Bristol
Feed the Homeless is a grassroots charity that has provided frontline homelessness support in Bristol since February 2016.
This year, their Christmas appeal is focussing on fundraising for their foodbank project, enabling the team to continue the operation into the new year and into the spring, at a time when a higher number of people experience financial instability.
Feed the Homeless' food bank currently supports more than 100 individuals every week, producing and distributing food parcels that cost approximately £4 to put together. Find out more and make a donation on their website.
Bristol music fans can also support FTH this Christmas by downloading local artist Billy Nomates' new track, 'Christmas is for Lovers, Ghosts & Children', with all proceeds from sales going directly to the charity. Find out more about the release and get your copy here.
merry chrysler.— Billy Nomates (@_billy_nomates) December 1, 2021
christmas isn't for everyone.
this track is available through december on my bandcamp as pay what you want
all profits go directly to @fth_BRISTOL
Find volunteering roles on the Bristol Homeless Forum
The Bristol Homeless Forum is a platform dedicated to connecting Bristol's homelessness support projects, charities and other organisations, helping them to build their teams and find new volunteers.
If you're looking to dedicate some of your time to a good cause, head to their website and find an index of roles currently available.
Support Caring in Bristol's Caring at Christmas project
Caring in Bristol are preparing to relaunch the South West's biggest Christmas homelessness project this month, supporting people experiencing homelessness throughout the festive season.
This year will see the return of the charity's Caring at Christmas day centre at the Trinity Centre, providing breakfast and lunch from some of Bristol's top chefs.
Alongside the event at Trinity, the outreach team will be delivering hot meals, hampers and festive cheer to doorsteps across the city.
Donate to the Bristol Soup Run Trust
The Bristol Soup Run Trust aims to ensure that, on every night of the year, homeless people have access to food and other essential supplies, free of charge.
As well as providing meals and support, the Trust aim to provide rough sleepers with basic information on relevant issues, including locations of emergency accommodation and advice centres.
The project has, so far, partnered with 22 different organisations across Bristol, who help to prepare and distribute soup to people in need. You can explore volunteering opportunities or make a donation to the Bristol Soup Run Trust here.
TAP for Bristol
Located at busy areas across central Bristol, including in Broadmead, on College Green and Wapping Wharf, TAP for Bristol points allow the public to make one-off £3 contributions to Bristol-based organisations dedicated to tackling homelessness.
Funds are divided equally between Caring in Bristol and local frontline services such as Second Step and St Mungo's, with the Quartet Community Foundation managing the grant programme and donations.
Back in June, it was announced that the TAP for Bristol had raised an incredible £40,000 for local charities, having been launched in 2019.
If you've got the time to spare and you're concerned about homelessness and helping homeless people in Bristol, we wholeheartedly recommend getting in touch with one of the organisations above to discuss volunteering opportunities.
However, if you can't make the time to volunteer, there's no reason why you can't do your bit on a personal level. If you see someone on the street, offer them a coffee or some hot food, or donate things like warm clothing, sleeping bags or other daily essentials.
If you see someone who you suspect is sleeping rough, you can inform StreetLink. The service will try to connect them to local services and organisations to get them off the streets.
Contact StreetLink on 0300 500 0914 or head to their website.
Is there an outreach project missing from this list? Let us know via email and we'll be happy to make any amendments.
Editor - 365Bristol.com & LOUD Magazine
Matt is a Journalism graduate and writer, passionate about supporting Bristol music, art and independent business. Get in touch via email at email@example.com.