21/05/20 – Press release
£5,000 for supporting homeless people out of COVID-19 isolation and £5,000 to fund homelessness prevention work.
Homeless people currently isolating in a new Bristol city centre hostel are to be given personal budgets to help them move on to stable accommodation, thanks to a £5,000 grant raised through TAP for Bristol, the city’s new contactless donation scheme for homelessness.
This is the first donation to be made from funds raised through TAP for Bristol, a network of nearly 20 contactless donation points around the city, set up by the Bristol City Centre Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with Caring in Bristol last year. People can tap their contactless credit or debit card to give £3. Half of the money raised is being used for homelessness crisis support and half for homelessness prevention work.
The new £5,000 grant will help Bristol mental health charity Second Step set up personal budgets for 50 clients to buy essential items to get set up in new homes after isolating due to the coronavirus outbreak. Support workers will ask clients how they would like to spend the money. Items bought could include mobile phones, clothes, toiletries, all of which are essential to finding work, along with furniture, bedding, kitchen equipment as well as training courses or travel to connect with family, post Covid-19 restrictions.
A second grant of £5,000 will go towards funding a money advisor and a housing advisor to support people at risk of homelessness through Caring in Bristol in partnership with local housing advice service CHAS and debt advice charity Talking Money. The most common factor leading to homelessness in the UK is the loss of a private rented tenancy. The charity has warned that even more people are facing home insecurity, and that there will be a sharp increase in evictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will give capacity to proactively reach out to people who are at risk of losing their home to offer advice and support.
Vicky Lee, project lead for TAP for Bristol at Bristol City Centre BID said:
“It’s been truly humbling to see how people have embraced TAP for Bristol. Thanks to their generosity we have been able to donate £10,000 to homelessness support and prevention services in Bristol during the coronavirus outbreak. The initiative has raised almost £20,000 in just over 6 months, so a second £10,000 grant will also be available very soon to support other frontline charities.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought about yet more risks and challenges for homeless people in our city, so we are delighted to make this first grant available to help people who’ve been isolating in a hostel or hotel to set up a stable home. We are hugely grateful to the people of Bristol and ask everyone who can to keep tapping to donate £3.”
Aileen Edwards, Second Step’s Chief Executive added:
“If there is a silver lining to be found in the incredible hardship brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that we have been able to support more people to move away from the streets. This grant will help people we’re supporting find a safer life away from the streets,”
Ben Richardson, Director of Caring in Bristol, added:
“Our charity’s mission is to create a caring city empowered to solve homelessness and stopping people from becoming homeless in the first place is key to achieving that. This money will help us fund the crucial work of our advisors who support people with financial and housing challenges in order to help them to keep their homes.”
These new grants are being made as TAP for Bristol approaches its second £10,000 donation target, thanks to the generosity of members of the public, who will have donated a total of £20,000 since the scheme launched in September last year.
Reaching the second £10,000 will trigger the next round of grants to local charities supporting people in Bristol who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, particularly as charities gear up for crisis recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.
Whilst a small number of the 19 TAP for Bristol donation points are not currently accessible due to coronavirus restrictions, such as those inside business premises, the vast majority of TAP points are in public places such as shop, bar and hotel windows and are continuing to receive donations from people doing essential shopping or out on their daily exercise. An online donation page has also been set up at www.justgiving.com/campaign/tapforbristol
TAP for Bristol aims to help make Bristol the city that solves homelessness. The scheme launched in September 2019 and raises funds through its contactless donation points where people can tap their credit or debit card to donate £3. The funds are divided equally between Caring in Bristol and local frontline services facilitated by the Quartet Community Foundation which is managing, monitoring and evaluating all donations.
Any organisation wanting to apply for a grant can do so online, via the Quartet website.