On the first day of summer, we are sharing an update on our services in May 2024, which will give a glimpse into the impact of our work across Cornwall, and insights into the challenges of sleeping rough in the summer.

      

Last month, St Petrocs worked with 188 people experiencing homelessness in Cornwall. Our resource centres and outreach services offer advice, support, and resources to individuals who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.

Of the 188 people we worked with who were experiencing homelessness, 131 people slept outside in Cornwall. The remaining 57 people that we worked with were experiencing homelessness in a less-visible way, such as sofa surfing or sleeping in their cars. 

St Petrocs currently manages and provides accommodation for up to 165 people across 24 properties throughout Cornwall.

Experiencing homelessness during the summer

Despite summer usually being the driest and warmest time of the year, sleeping outside in the summer comes with risks to a person's physical and mental health. Exposure to the sun and high temperatures raises the risk of heat stroke and sunburn which is unavoidable when you don’t have access to shelter, appropriate hats/clothing or sun cream. Finding shade and ventilation can be challenging when finding somewhere to sleep outside in the summer, and the heat makes sleeping in tents or cars tough, especially when you have a pet with you. Another difficulty can be access to water, unless someone is accessing a resource centre, not many people find a spot near a tap, which means that their access to drinking water may be very limited and raises the risk of dehydration.

Recently, we ran out of sleeping bags in Truro Resource Centre due to the high demand from people experiencing homelessness. Our Homeless Support Coordinator, Stephen shared that “ By giving clients a sleeping bag, we at least know they will be warm and, in some way, protected from the elements. This mitigates the risks to our most vulnerable clients. This is a vital way of providing practical support, and if we have no sleeping bags, we cannot offer this support.“

How you can help

If you’d like to help someone experiencing homelessness this summer, you can do so in a number of ways:

1. Show kindness to someone experiencing homelessness by greeting them or if you are able, you could offer to buy a cold/hot drink and food

2. Donate essential items to our resource centres, such as: sun cream, clothes to protect from the sun, sleeping bags, or you can even buy items via Give Today 

3. We are only able to tackle our ambition to end homelessness in Cornwall because of our supporters. You can support us by making a regular donation, which will make a real impact to the lives of people in our communities.

Donate items here     Support us with a regular donation