A fresh approach by ‘Street Support’ an organisation that is tackling homelessness digitally

Street Support is an online based network that helps eradicate homelessness in cities through collaborations with already existing charities and by providing vital information for those in need via their online site.

 Street Support is available in cities such as Greater Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Liverpool. Each city deals with high levels of homelessness and poverty and it is the only organisation that is based solely online, adapting to the needs of todays society where word spreads faster digitally than it does through physical, verbal conversation.

Those who are on the streets looking for shelter or somewhere they can get a meal can go on Street Support and access such information within seconds.

“The focus for us is about being that online resource and education. Sharing news and latest updates” says Gary Dunstan, co-founder of Street Support Network.

The site lists all the available organisations and shows how close/ far they are on the map. It also allows people to donate money and volunteer is they wish to.

When speaking to Gary it was clear how important it was for him to build partnerships in the city as well as outside to get the maximum support for those in need.

“It is not just Manchester, it is UK wide and there are over 300,000 people homeless in the UK. Manchester has its own unique problems and Street Support tries to save others time and money by sharing their experiences in Manchester in hopes that it will help other cities”

For organisations such as Street Support there seems to be a lack of funding from the government and the city councils, often these cities aren’t prioritised as much as London, being the capital,

“In London there is more money” says Garry, “they have more to tackle homelessness whereas in Manchester there is not as much money, so I think this is why [poverty and homelessness] is bigger and more visible”

“All the money [Street Support] have raised has come from friends, philanthropists, faith groups and now we receive a little bit from the council but again, their budgets have been cut” says Garry.

It seems like organisations such as Street Support have a good idea behind them just not enough support or funding. It is important to ask ourselves the question, why does the government prioritize cities such as London and sacrifice the rest of the UK as a consequence.

Is this London-centric approach the right one? Is London succeeding at the expense of the rest of the UK?

When you delve a little deeper into this social issue of poverty and homelessness and forget about the monetary side of things, a little kindness and love goes a long way.

“When we started I believed there were kind people out there that wanted to help but didn’t know how to or where to go”

“We try to listen to all the kindness and try and redirect it to where it is needed, we essentially help the helpers, it is a great job” says Gary.

 

If you are at all affected by the issues discussed or would like to get involved or help by donating. Visit https://streetsupport.net

 Gary Dunstan can be reach via Twitter @GaryDunstan

 

Aleksandra Ganuszko

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