What we do to tackle homelessness

Ways you can help

There are lots of ways you can help rough sleepers or homeless people in Oxford. Here are 13 of them:

 

What

Why

1 Donate money to Homeless Oxfordshire instead of giving money to people begging in Oxford. Homeless Oxfordshire provides supported accommodation and move on housing for rough sleepers in Oxford. It also provides training, education and activities to residents, and day services - including showers, laundry and meals - to any verified rough sleeper. 
2 The simplest way to support Oxford Poverty Action is to make a donation. All donations are distributed via agencies working with homeless and vulnerable people, for example those that provide shelter, food, day services, clothing advice and medical care to people in need.
3 If you are concerned for a rough sleeper please either contact StreetLink on 0300 5000914 or www.streetlink.org.uk and the Oxford Street Population Outreach Team (OXSPOT) will respond to this referral at the earliest opportunity. Oxford Street Population Outreach Team (OXSPOT) carries out early morning and late night outreach in the city, assisting rough sleepers to get off the street, finding suitable housing options and linking them in with support.
4 Buy The Big Issue from a vendor wearing a red tabard and a badge. The Big Issue represents a meaningful alternative to begging. Big Issue vendors buy the magazine for £1.25 and sell it to the public, for £2.50. This is a real opportunity to start to earn money and is a vital first step for a person as they begin their journey away from homelessness.
5 Have lunch at the Crisis Skylight Café. Great food and drinks in George Street, in the heart of Oxford. The café is a social enterprise that provides on-the-job training for people experiencing homelessness. While you are there, ask staff for opportunities for you to volunteer.
6 Donate warm winter clothes, sleeping bags and toiletries to O’Hanlon House. O’Hanlon House is one of the homeless hostels in Oxford. O’Hanlon House, together with Oxford SPOT, also co-ordinates and provides emergency provision for rough sleepers in severe winter weather and your donations will help them continue to do this.
7 Give your unwanted furniture to Emmaus Oxford,  visit the store at Barns Road and buy quality second hand items. Emmaus Oxford store on Barns Road sells second hand goods and furniture at very good prices. The store is run by the companions of Emmaus Oxford. Emmaus tackles problems of homelessness by offering a home, a job, new skills and a sense of belonging.
8 Buy gifts at the Shop at the Old Fire Station. Independent handcrafted good including jewellery, textiles, stationary and more. Money from purchases goes back into funding Arts at the Old Fire Station’s work with homelessness charity Crisis, offering training and volunteering opportunities. Open Tue – Sat 11am – 6pm.
9 Volunteer your time or donate funds and goods to The Porch Day Centre. The Porch is a day centre based in East Oxford, providing company, support, food, shower and laundry facilities to people who have experienced homelessness and those who are vulnerably housed. They promote a range of activities and you can help by volunteering: help in the kitchen, making preserves, working on allotments, helping with IT and office skills, and talking to and befriending members.
10 Contract Aspire to do work for your organisation or business. Offer work and training opportunities and training through own social enterprises to those who have experienced disadvantage and who may be facing complex barriers to employment. Services offered include grounds maintenance, recruitment, property services and removals.
11 Donate cash, food, clothes, or volunteer with Gatehouse. Gatehouse is a local charity that provides food, company and activities. Based in the city centre and open two hours six evenings per week.
12 Volunteer with Connection Support or donate cash by Texting CNFS15 £10 (£1 to £5 or £10) to 70070 and make a difference today. Connection Support Provides a breadth of specialised support services to people facing complex life challenges, including ‘floating support’ and provision of supported accommodation for rough sleepers and single homeless people.
13 Donate money or volunteer with Oxford Winter Night Shelter. Oxford Winter Night Shelter (OWNS) is run by a group of Oxford churches and provides 20 beds for verified rough sleepers - including people without a local connection to Oxford - from the New Year until the end of March. Any army of some 300 volunteers drawn from all walks of life in and around Oxford act as hosts to the guests. St Mungo's acts as the referral service to OWNS.