A survival guide for homeless people has been launched in Sheffield today in a fresh bid to help rough sleepers to get off the streets.
The Homeless Survival Guide for South Yorkshire is designed as a 'first port of call' for anyone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
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It provides information on finding accommodation, food, health, other support and amenities in the Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham areas.
The guide is the vision of High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, Barry Eldred, who decided to pull the document together after seeing how a similar guide was helping rough sleepers in Bristol.
The scheme also comes just weeks after the Office of National Statistics revealed how nine homeless people died in the Sheffield City Region in 2017.
Furthermore, a survey by the South Yorkshire Community Foundation called 'Vital Signs 2018' revealed that the top concerns for residents who responded are “deprivation and homelessness.”
Speaking at a launch event at Ben's Centre in Sheffield today, Mr Eldred said: “It was my hope that my year in office as High Sheriff would enable me to make a difference for those leading complex, fragile lives.
“With the help of South Yorkshire Community Foundation, the local authorities, and the amazing energy of the charities involved in caring for those in desperate circumstances, my ambition has come together in this guide.
“The positive reaction of other towns and organisations, who have expressed an interest in producing their own guide, is further proof of the need for the help that such guides offer.”
Ruth Willis, chief executive officer of the SYCF, said: “Pulling together this guide has been a big job, but we have been happy to do it. The potential impact this guide can have on the lives of local people is incredible.
“As a charity, our aim is to improve the lives of local people, no matter their circumstances. This guide can help us to achieve that goal.”
The guide will be made available to any organisation within South Yorkshire that helps homeless people or those at risk of rough sleeping so they can distribute it to those who need help.
There are also plans to create an online version.
The guide has been made possible thanks to the support of charities and other organisation, plus all four South Yorkshire councils, and donations from businesses and residents.