Everybody knows that homelessness is a big problem in Nottingham. You can’t go for a walk through the city centre without seeing half a dozen people huddled up in their sleeping bags in the cold. A start-up company based in Nottingham, People of the Streets, is seeking to change this. Impact Features talks to the company’s co-founder and Social Media Manager, Nick Caballero, to find out more.
So, tell me a bit about People of the Streets!
“People of the Streets is a not-for-profit organisation aiming to provide packs to people living on the street containing essential items for living. When we are fully operational, people will be able to buy packs from our online store which contain clothing and hygiene products. These will be distributed to people who need them the most via a number of our partner homeless shelters across the UK, and everybody who buys a pack will receive a ‘thank you’ card.
“Once we’re fully on our feet, we’ll also be starting a secondary activity of running soft skill workshops to teach homeless people basic skills, such as CV writing and interview techniques. These will be outsourced to third party professional contractors but will be organised through us. Obviously unemployment is one of the main causes of homelessness and we want to help people break out of the cycle of getting temporary jobs, short-term accommodation and becoming homeless again.
“A long-term goal is to run vocational skills workshops, but this is quite far in the future.”
What inspired you to start People of the Streets?
“We all met through Enactus, an initiative run by students at the University of Nottingham which helps students launch their own businesses and campaigns. We had another idea which fell through so we went back to the drawing board, and kept returning to the idea of helping the homeless.
“We were influenced by Crack + Cider, a company based in San Francisco which distributes important items to homeless people – but there’s no such initiative in Nottingham so we decided to set one up.
“We’ve received feedback from our partner homeless shelters and they distribute the packs people buy to those who need them the most so we ensure help goes to where it needs.”
Which pack do you think would be most helpful to homeless people?
“They’ve all got their individual perks but I think the hygiene packs are really important as they can make an enormous difference, not just for hygiene but also for self-esteem. When people realise that they have taken care of their primal necessities, they can decide what to take care of next.”
People of the Streets may have already reached £2020 of donations but there’s still some length to go. You can donate to this noble cause here.