‘We often shy away from giving money to people on the streets, for fear of encouraging begging or because we worry about where that money will go.’ – People of the Streets Website
People of the Streets (POTS) is a solution to this problem. With over 250,000 people who sleep on the streets every night, Charles Kerr, Alex Greenhalgh and Qas Hussain realised that something needed to be done to tackle one of the largest social problems in this country.
Together, they set up POTS as a unique model to lessen the divide between members of the public and homeless people in the 6 cities identified as having had the most significant increase in homelessness over the last few years; Nottingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Brighton, Bristol and London. However, POTS intends to extend their work further across the country in the coming years.
Not only does this not-for-profit organisation intend to extend their range of help, they also are in the process of developing new ways of achieving their aim of getting people off of the streets.
The first phase of the project involved the creation of an online store, where people can purchase one of four different packs; Keep Dry, Keep Warm, and a male and female version of the Freshen Up Pack. Once purchased, the packs are sent to one of the 6 cities that POTS works in, where a distributing partner- organisations which include charities, day centres and night shelters- help to send the packs to the most vulnerable in society.
All the money made through the packs is put back into the organisation to help with the new projects POTS hopes to implement in the future.
As Qas Hussain, Finance Director says, ‘We’re very proud of course, but this is just the first month. Homelessness is a growing issue in the UK and as such our aim is to grow the help we can give.’
Future aims include providing vocational and skills based courses to help get people off of the street, a photo project to display the best photos taken by homeless people from the disposable cameras that POTS provide, and a new pack, the Getting Off the Streets Pack.
To find out more information and get involved in the incredible work that this charity is doing, visit the POTS website.