A Bournemouth soup kitchen is carrying on with their activities for the homeless in an NCP car park, located in Bournemouth town centre.
Street Light Project was initially running their soup kitchen for the homeless in the lower gardens, but Bournemouth Borough Council alleged that they were affecting tourism and promoting anti-social behaviour. The project found another location which is a Bournemouth NCP car park.
Kaylee Hopkins, a street light volunteer, said that they are proceeding with the project regardless of the fact that the Bournemouth Borough Council tried to stop it. “Bournemouth Council is trying to hide the homeless away,” said Hopkins.
The project provides other services than food and clothes for the homeless. “We create bonds, friendships and we have warm conversations with them without judging upon their past or condition,” said Hopkins.
“Bournemouth Council is trying to hide the homeless away”
Matthew Blackman, homeless and a former chef said: “ A great job is done taking care of us. They took me out for my birthday and funded my expenses”. When asked if the Street Light should carry on with their activities he said:
“Yes, not only for food but because they are my friends”.
The homeless also help in the soup kitchen by handing over the food and collecting rubbish. “Helping them is a way of giving something back. I know about the issues with the council, but we do not want any trouble,” said Blackman.
“What they are doing is great but the car park is not the appropriate place to run a soup kitchen. It is a shame that Bournemouth Council does not help them in finding an adequate housing,” said Ruben Faria, a local resident.
The soup kitchen which takes place every Saturday night is an independent project, funded by volunteers and donations.