In order to help those who are on the streets and to reduce homelessness, a collaborative approach is needed. In line with this, there was a Homelessness Summit held in Cambridge in November to bring together representatives from businesses, charities and churches from across the city. At this summit, it was discussed about how organisations present can help the effort to reduce homelessness. One of the points that was raised was about providing information to members of the public so that they know the ways they can help. An important source of support is Cambridge Street Aid.
Cambridge Street Aid is a Cambridge City Council initiative to support homeless people in Cambridge. Its two aims are to:
- Help people get off, and stay off, the streets
- Give donors an alternative to handing money straight to people
Street Aid started in December 2016 and this initiative accepts donations and provides small grants that make an impact on people’s lives. These grants can be provided for lots of things including helping pay off debt, buying some new clothes to help get a job and helping towards accommodation. You can read about some of the grants Street Aid have awarded here. In October 2019, the first Street Aid Week started to raise money and awareness for the initiative.
In terms of donation, if you wanted to donate, you can:
- Visit the justgiving.com Fund page
- Send a cheque – payable to Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, Hangar One, The Airport, Newmarket Road, Cambridge CB5 8TG
There are also donation terminals in the city. Here, you can make a donation with contactless cards and smartphones. The terminals are located at the following places:
- Outside the City Council customer service centre at Mandela House on St Andrew’s Street (24 hours a day)
- The Grand Arcade
- Co-Op Mill Road
- Co-Op Chesterton Road
- Co-Op Burwell
- The Guildhall (reception area)
This list is from the Cambridge Street Aid page on the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation website.
You can also volunteer to become a Street Aid Champion. Street Aid Champions are volunteers who hold fundraising events in their workplace, university or local community. They are also Street Aid ambassadors who tell people about Street Aid. If you are interested and want to find out more, please find:
The role description here
The application form here
You can watch more about Street Aid here.
For other support available, here is a helpful information card that has been put together by It Takes a City (ITAC). A new resource that has been coordinated by the ITAC Digital Action Group is the Cambridge section of Street Support. This provides a one-stop shop for people to find help and to give help. This includes a timetable of the information available on a daily basis.