A homely, contented buzz, relaxed chatting, women feeling they’re understood, not judged. Sitting at the table sharing food or sleeping on sofas. Where birthdays and Christmas are marked, where staff and volunteers remember how she likes her hot chocolate.
A safe space, she’s always welcome. Sometimes it’s the only place she eats. Somewhere away from the chaos of addiction and violence. Somewhere there is unconditional love.
"You get fed, you get some clean clothes. That was enough to begin with. Then the trust started building up."- Cora
Many women have nowhere else that’s safe: sleeping rough or in violent, exploitative situations. Busier than ever, the friendly drop-in is a daytime haven. As well as sharing meals, taking a shower and fresh clothes, it’s the place to get healthcare, casework and creative activities.
From basic needs to expert advice from a caseworker or visiting professional, last year 112 women visited the drop-in to receive crisis care and start their journey to recovery.
"I love going to drop-in: I can get a shower, a meal, a change of clothes. I can get advice on all the right avenues to go down. They've got everything covered. I go in a wreck and come out a new woman."- Sylvia
Without a fixed address or stability in their lives, women on the streets can find it incredibly difficult to register with a doctor or make appointments with support agencies to address their critical needs. Drop-in redresses this issue by hosting GPs, nurses and life skills professionals throughout the week. In addition, our drop-in manager works with each woman in crisis – whether following an attack or sudden homelessness – and helps others identify and pursue goals such as signing up for benefits.
Volunteers and drop-in support workers create a homely, relaxed atmosphere which can help women to develop their skills, improve their self-esteem and build on their capacity for change.