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07 February 2017

Helping the homeless in Salisbury

Supporting the vulnerable in Wiltshire is our top priority and we work closely with our partners to ensure any measures we take are effective and will help make a long term difference 

Jonathon Seed

We've been part of a multi-agency team that has been instrumental in organising an event to help support a group of homeless people who have been sleeping rough in the Central Car Park area.

Kind members of the public have been taking clothing, blankets, drinks and food to the rough sleepers. However, the sheer volume of donated items has become an issue as the recipients have no where to store it.

Unfortunately police have also received a number of complaints regarding members of the group in relation to alcohol related anti social and intimidating behaviour.

We decided to take action to try and help the rough sleepers and an event was held at St Thomas Church last week, Thursday 2 February 2017.

The team, comprised of Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire Substance Misuse Service and local police, welcomed homeless people and provided hot soup and drinks which had been kindly donated by Tesco's.

Advice and support regarding housing, health matters and substance misuse was available from a number of organisations.

PC Tracey Holloway who organised the event said: "Our joint aim with the other agencies is to ensure the safety of everyone in our communities.

At our event we welcomed a group of people who were given advice and assistance tailored to their individual needs and provided information on the options available regarding housing/accommodation.

Our work doesn't stop here, we will continue to liaise closely with our partners and the homeless people in our City to ensure the area is a pleasant and safe place for all."

Jonathon Seed, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for housing said: "Supporting the vulnerable in Wiltshire is our top priority and we work closely with our partners to ensure any measures we take are effective and will help make a long term difference. I have previously been out with our teams meeting rough sleepers face to face and I know how important is it to engage directly to work through the challenges they face. By going out to our rough sleepers in this way we are providing the right support as they address the issues and make positive changes so they can move out of rough sleeping into a more secure lifestyle."

Dominika Kominkova, Outreach Worker at Turning Point's Wiltshire Substance Misuse Service said: 'We found this event to be very beneficial and are more than happy to take part in future. People who are homeless are at risk of falling through the cracks - either they may not be aware of the support that is on offer or they feel that they cannot access it, so it is important that we reach out to them. By working with Wiltshire Council and local police, we are ensuring people get the joined-up support they need.'

If you would like to help those in need in Salisbury please contact local charities such as Alabare or The Salisbury Foodbank for donations or volunteering opportunities.

Last updated: 7 February 2017 | Last reviewed: 7 February 2017

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