A homeless charity in Poole is celebrating its tenth anniversary this month.
Since 2002, Routes To Roots has been providing a variety of services for homeless people in the Poole community.
The group currently runs regular drop in sessions, soup-runs, information days, creative workshops, and a variety of support schemes to help people currently living on the streets start to build their lives back together.
The group’s focuses include helping the homeless to build their confidence back up, stay occupied and motivated, and address behavioural issues.
Recently, they have piloted a befriending programme, in which former rough sleepers are given the support and companionship they need to stay off the streets.
Revd Pat Southgate is the chair of Routes to Roots and chaplain to the Homeless in Poole. She said: “Throughout this decade we have endeavoured to feed the hungry, whatever their hunger may be, and to clothe the naked with dignity and self worth.
“The sick have been visited and we have worked towards bringing release to those who are imprisoned, chiefly by their isolation and social exclusion. All these things make up our core work of outreach to rough sleepers – and ongoing support for those who have been housed.”
On the group’s plans for the future, she said: “We realise that there is still so much to be done even to provide for the most basic of human needs. It has long been our hope that one day we will be able to meet those needs more effectively through the acquisition of our own permanent premises.
“However, we recognise the immediate future of Routes to Roots depends on continued regular funding either through direct Council contracts, by joint ventures with other providers or from other benevolent sources. We also recognise that our future depends on the small army of people here in Poole who support us with their prayer and action.”
The charity started after a number of churches in the Poole area already providing homeless support realized they would need to raise more money in order to properly address the issue.
The group will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary with a thanksgiving service at St Peter’s Church, in Parkstone in Poole, on Sunday 25 March.
To contact the charity, call their office on 01202 667880, or email.