St Petrock’s Mobile Rough Sleeper Service takes vital support right to homeless people who need it most.
Twice every weekday, the team walks up to five miles carrying out welfare checks and offering survival services including meals, hot drinks, showers and laundry, clothing, mental health support and access to healthcare.
For over 27 years, St Petrock’s has been a lifeline to people experiencing homelessness in Exeter. The team of 18 full and part-time staff, plus around 30 volunteers, make thousands of contacts each year with people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Homelessness has been increasing in Exeter in recent times, with the number of rough sleepers doubling between 2021 and 2022 and continuing to rise. When Covid restrictions meant people could not enter the St Petrock’s Centre for help, the charity launched their Mobile Rough Sleeper Service to take help directly to people who were sleeping rough or who were likely to become homeless. It has proved so effective that it has become a core part of their service.
The team walks up to five miles twice every weekday to provide welfare checks and access to a range of essential services at the St Petrock’s Centre. These includes meals, hot drinks, showers, toilets, washing machines, clothing and sleeping bags. They also facilitate more complex interventions including mental health support, access to healthcare, and help with finding housing and claiming benefits.
By going to people where they are, the mobile team builds up trust and locates people who might otherwise fall through the cracks. One case in point was Frank, who they found sleeping rough by the cathedral. He was a foreign national and a frightened victim of modern slavery with nowhere to turn. Thanks to St Petrock’s, he now has the support he needs and is thriving in supported accommodation.
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