To some people it may seem strange, giving a mobile phone to a homeless person.
They may be thinking…
“They will just sell it to buy alcohol or drugs”
…unfortunately this is a common misconception.
We have been asked why Swindon Homeless Volunteers give mobile phones to some of our street friends and the answer is very simple:
We supply them so they are able to keep in touch with professionals, shelters, family, friends and some of our group members.
By staying connected our homeless can have direct access to help when they need it.
As well as being an essential way to keep in touch with support services, case workers or looking for jobs or housing, a mobile phone plays an important role preventing isolation and social exclusion.
“Many of our homeless feel isolated and alone on the street, having that connection is like a lifeline, which is so important.”
A few of our street friends send us text messages or call us, and if they need anything we can arrange to get needed items to them and can get hold of them directly to arrange drop-off/collection.
All too often we hear that the council have thrown away all their personal belongings and they just need essentials such as a tent and bedding.
They can call us and we can get them safe and warm before the night sets in.
Our homeless may get moved on, if we have their mobile number we can pass it on to other organisations. We’ll be able to get her off the street quicker because we can always get back to them.
We only supply phones. We do not supply top ups or money for texts, calls or data.
We can confirm that these phones have not been sold on and are being used for the reasons stated above.
Anyone from our group is happy to donate any old mobile phones.
We will continue to supply any mobile phones, when people donate them so we can keep our homeless connected.
If you have any old mobile phones you can donate to help the homeless of Swindon please join our facebook group or send us an email.