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Friends of the Homeless in Fareham & Gosport

Friends Of The Homeless Logo

The Friends of the Homeless are a Christian based charity. They operate the Basics Bank project, a food bank, from their centres in Aspect House, Fareham and the United Reformed Church, Gosport. The aim of the group is to provide short term support and relief to all who find themselves in a crisis or emergency situation.

The group provides free food parcels lasting for a period of up to one week, as well as toiletries, nappies, clothing and sleeping bags. This service is accessed through a number of agencies in the area who provide a voucher to those in need which can be exchanged at the centres for the required items. The agencies include the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Housing Offices at the local councils, Health Visitors, Job Centres, Social Services, Children’s Centres and Fareham and Gosport Family Aid who support women and men affected by domestic abuse (please see Fareham and Gosport Domestic Abuse Service for more information).

The centres are open from 1pm to 3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

There is now a sixteen bed direct access hostel in Fareham for people who are homeless, run by a separate charity called Two Saints at 101 Gosport Road, Fareham. Unfortunately this is full most of the time and The Friends of the Homeless try to help people unable to get into the hostel by offering practical support. This includes providing a free lunch every Sunday from 1.00pm to 3.30pm at the Youth Centre in Trinity Street, Fareham, working in conjunction with Christians Together in Fareham.

Recent headlines in the newspapers about the affordability of housing and the increase in interest rates can only mean that more people will be affected if this continues. Many people are extending themselves beyond their financial means to purchase a home. For some, every rise in the interest rate is a step nearer to repossession. One charity recently put up this poster as part of their publicity campaign; “most of us are just four payslips away from becoming homeless”. A sobering thought.

Homelessness Cycle diagram Becoming homeless can lead to a rapid downward spiral, which is very difficult to recover from, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Whatever the cause, these people enter what I can only call a homeless cycle. It typically follows the same pattern.

At whatever point you start, the cycle is much the same for most. One thing leads to another. Once homeless, the world can seem and feel like it’s against you and trying to get out of this cycle can feel like pushing treacle uphill. Some will loose their self respect and their will to live. Some will find some crumb of comfort in things which will help to try and blot out the situation they find themselves in everyday. That can then lead to other problems of course for them and for society in general.

For more information about the work of Friends of the Homeless you can visit their website or Facebook page.