When you think of homelessness, you may think that it only really applies to very large towns or cities. But it’s a problem that exists here in Barrow too. So far eleven people have been identified as sleeping rough on the streets of Barrow.
These people aren’t sofa-surfing, staying at friends’ houses or family members, they’re living on the streets, finding shelter wherever they can.
This is the reason that Barrow Foodbank have set up a new project to make life a little more bearable for the homeless.
After a visit to the foodbank, they will be handed a backpack containing a stove, sleeping bag, hat, gloves, clean underwear, cooking items and of course food.
This initiative has been made possible after funding was awarded by The Big lottery to the Barrow Advice Hub (which consists of Barrow Foodbank, Mind In Furness, Project John, Barrow & District Disability association and Barrow Citizens Advice Bureau). Over £20,000 will be available over the next 4 years.
The project comes at a time when our area could see homelessness (particularly amongst youths) dramatically increase. Supported housing schemes such as Silverdale Court in Barrow and Bakery Court in Ulverston have closed recently, leaving many people at serious risk of having no choice but to sleep rough.
To qualify for a backpack the person has to have been referred to Barrow Foodbank by someone who knows them at a referral agency. They will be known as homeless, and it will say that on a normal foodbank voucher.
After visiting the foodbank, the homeless person will then be referred to the other members of the Barrow Advice Hub for continued support and advice. In addition to this, The Salvation Army will them with facilities to shower, St. Mark’s Church in Buccluech Street can provide them with clothes, and CADAS offer support for addiction to drugs and alcohol.
This service is also available at Crown Street Baptist Church in Millom and Bethany Baptist Church in Ulverston.
For more details on this project, and the fantastic work the foodbank does – and how you can help, please visit https://barrow.foodbank.org.uk/