A Dundee charity has worked flat out through lockdown to make sure no homeless person “fell through the net”.
Eagles Wings Trust, based in Douglas Street, has handed out bags of food and offered a listening ear to those in need during the pandemic.
Kirsty Nelson, a community support worker and parish nurse at the trust, said it was important to make sure homeless people in the city were supported during the crisis.
Speaking to the Tele, she said: “Most people who were sleeping rough before the lockdown came off the streets and were offered a place in a couple of hotels, so there were very few people rough sleeping because everyone was offered accommodation.
“That’s when we decided services like ourselves were needed for food provision in the area and we knew we needed to make sure no one fell through the net.”
The trust described demand as “steady” and handed out 45 bags of food every single day, each bag providing two meals.
The team also helped people who were struggling financially by, for example, topping up electricity meters.
Kirsty said: “Some of the same faces come through the doors every day but we have also been working with other services such as Housing First, so we have had about 30 or 40 extra people coming into our drop-in service and needed to keep our centre open during the lockdown.”
She added that often one of the most important things the charity was able to do was talk to those coming in to make sure they had the support they needed.
She said: “We have been working very closely with NHS Homeless Health team, so people who came here had their health needs and their mental health needs met.
“We have some folk who have been coming to us for years and years and we’ve got a good friendship with them.
“It is really important in this job to be willing to build that kind of friendship with these guys.
“We opened our doors to hand out food bags and we were phoning folk as well to see how they were getting on.”
Kirsty added: “We usually have folk from hostels in Arbroath who would normally come to see us but couldn’t during the lockdown, so we had a guy handing out bags of food there too.
“But with the food drop off, it also gave us a chance to chat to people and make sure they were able to talk to us if they were worried about anything or were struggling.
“Often they just needed to have a blether.”
See the video below for more information about the work the trust carries out.
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Posted by Eagles Wings Trust on Monday, 15 June 2020