These are the charities that help the homeless in Leeds

The death of a long-term rough sleeper in Leeds this week has thrown the plight of the homeless into sharp focus.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 6th December 2018, 11:23 am
Updated Thursday, 6th December 2018, 11:25 am

Although the man, who has not been named, died in hospital, he was well-known to support services as somebody who lived on the streets.His death has sparked a huge reaction on social media - with many people calling for more funding to help others in his position.

How to help a homeless person sleeping on the streetsLeeds has a number of active charities which undertake outreach activities with the street population, such as organising referrals to drug and alcohol services, co-ordinating welfare checks and running street kitchens.

There are also several hostels in the city offering beds to vulnerable people, although most have a 'no drugs or alcohol' policy which can deter those with addiction issues from using them.

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Leeds Homeless Support Network's street kitchen on City Square

Emmaus Leeds

The charity has hostels, known as communities, all over the country. In return for their accommodation, residents are expected to spend 40 hours a week working for the charity's social enterprises, which include a cafe and shops. Service users are required to give up their benefits (excluding housing benefit) before taking up a place with Emmaus and to contribute to the community. Non-homeless volunteers are also welcome.

St George's Crypt

A Christian charity which supports the homeless and those with addiction problems in Leeds. They run a hostel, Regent House, for men recovering from alcohol dependency, and the Crypt itself, which is (literally) a former church crypt that has been renovated and turned into a shelter and street kitchen. The organisation was founded in 1930. Volunteers are always welcome in a number of roles.

Simon on the Streets

Perhaps the most prominent organisation due to their strong social media presence. Rather than running a hostel, they focus on offering street-based support, with volunteers who will walk around the city getting to know the rough sleepers and checking on their welfare. Their outreach work concentrates on those 'entrenched' street sleepers who have had difficulty engaging with other support services in the past.

Leeds Homeless Support Group

This network of volunteers offers practical support, and they run the well-used street kitchen outside Mill Hill Chapel on City Square. They also distribute tents and sleeping bags. The group started their work at Christmas in 2015, and faced immediate challenges when the Boxing Day floods hit the city centre. Read more about their work here.