Local homeless charity in Boston says more needs to be done to combat homelessness

Elizabeth Hopkins, Chief Executive at Centrepoint Outreach charity. Photo by Hannah Croft.

The Centrepoint Outreach drop In centre in Boston offers accommodation, support and even furniture to the homeless and vulnerable people, as well as a free drink and snack and an opportunity to use their shower facilities.

Elizabeth Hopkins, Chief Executive, said: “Homelessness isn’t as simple as finding someone a house to live in and everything will be happy ever after because many of the people who come to us have multiple complex issues, they’re not just homeless they’ve got mental health issues and substance abuse issues as well.”

“So actually what’s needed is when people have accommodation, they need major support to keep that accommodation. Also even though they’re some projects around that provide limited support, in my opinion it’s not sufficient enough.”

“From the year starting 1st April 2018 we have had between 47 and 65 people each month, and some of those people will be the same, and some will be different, but there has been a rise in homelessness, especially in rough sleeping and the number has increased fourfold in the past 3 years.”

Charities such as Centrepoint Outreach mainly rely on public donations by the local community to keep their doors open, as funding often goes to the cities rather than the towns.

Chris Ladner, Parish Resource Officer, helps the homeless at The Stump. A breakfast club from 8:30am is provided where a basic breakfast is given to the homeless as well as a clothing rail, useful in the colder months.

The Stomp. Photo by Hannah Croft.

Mr Ladner said: “We can have up to 40 people at a time, and we let them sleep on the pews inside the church in the morning. We also send them off with hot drinks in thermal flasks.”

The Centrepoint Outreach also added: “We work with groups such as the Stump and other local churches, all of whom do a lot to try and help the homeless. But this work isn’t enough”

“We are unique in what we do, but what is really lacking throughout the country is the support for people that are homeless once they’re accommodated, as first of all we need more supported housing.”