- Giving anything new to some of these individuals will only end up being sold to feed their habits.
- Few actually need sleeping bags.
- Street sleepers cannot take bedding with them when they use the Winter Bed Scheme (Hence the neat piles of bedding we saw down Guilhall Walk when we our food run)
- Some of the apparent homeless have homes but sleep out to to guard their street collection territory as they are making hundreds of pounds.
- The Society of St James (SSJ) are buying and renting houses for the homeless and can often offer an alternative to the hostel environment that is frequently rejected by the homeless.
It is clear we do not have the expertise to ensure members donations get used most effectively unless we rely on a 3rd party.
We had thought Two Saints could use it but they are doing less in Portsmouth these days, we have supported them before and PCC have now commissioned The Society of St James to provide their housing and substance misuse services and having talked to both those at an operational level and management we are sure they would use all our money to directly easy the plight of local homeless people.
As a result, we have donated the proceeds of the Christmas raffle to the Society of St James and they have assured us that 100% of it will be used to buy food for those who need it. We will also be asking them to update us on the homeless situation at one of our meetings later this year.