Cash-strapped Homeless Street Angels teams up with Leeds charities to support rough sleepers during Covid-19 pandemic

It's been a difficult time for charities in Leeds, with funding for vital work taking a large hit as a result of the pandemic.

By Abbey Maclure
Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 11:56 am

A small team of homeless outreach workers have pooled their limited resources to continue to support some of the city's most vulnerable people.

Leeds charity Homeless Street Angels has been working with other outreach groups including Hughies Homeless Kitchen, Homeless Hampers and Hidden Hampers throughout the pandemic.

Outreach work was paused during lockdown as the city's homeless were housed in temporary hotel accommodation where they could safely isolate.

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A volunteer delivering snack packs to the homeless in Leeds

But the work hasn't stopped for the charities who deliver daily 'snack packs' and essentials to Leeds' homeless including a drink, packet of crisps, chocolate bars, fruit, socks, underwear and toiletries.

Working together with severely limited funding, the charities have ensured that 144 homeless people receive a snack pack almost every night of the week.

Homeless Street Angels, founded by sisters Shelley and Becky Joyce, has continued to work with the individuals who they helped to rehouse, as well as high-risk families who have reached out for help.

Shelley said: "We have all been so busy with an increased demand for food parcels as more and more families are struggling throughout this pandemic.

Homeless Street Angels founders Becky and Shelley Joyce say they are busier than ever supporting rough sleepers in Leeds

"We all work very closely together as we all have the same ‘end goal’ and often share supplies when one of our groups is running low.

"We feel very privileged to be part of these teams."

Shelley and Becky are currently unable to host regular fundraising events due to social distancing rules and the charity is now relying on donations from people in Leeds.

Food is largely supplied by a trolley donation at Sainsbury's in Headingley, the Wetherby and District Food Bank and a volunteer who has collected an incredible amount of food through a stall set up outside her home.

Shelley added: "Without these contributions and our teams working so closely together so many families will have gone hungry.

"We feel so blessed every day that we can be there for our guys on the streets and help them once they have found a home. They become part of our street angels family.

"We have a core team of more than twenty volunteers who have been so amazing throughout this pandemic, helping where they can and generating food donations.

"Our funds are hugely limited now so without everyone’s donations we wouldn’t be able to continue what we do and for that we are eternally grateful."

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Thank you

Laura Collins