Truro Homeless Action Group – supporting vulnerable people in Truro
Truro Homeless Action Group (THAG) aims to provide food and shelter for homeless and vulnerable people in Truro. First formed 22 years ago, THAG has been a warm hug for many who have found themselves in financial hardship. Around thirty-five volunteers give two or more hours a week to provide a cooked breakfast all year round whilst reducing the feeling of isolation through a friendly and safe environment, where people can feel valued and appreciated.
In September, Cornwall Community Foundation (CCF) gave a grant of £5,000 from the Build Back Better Fund to help continue the essential work of THAG. With the source of funding, THAG have been able to provide a variety of breakfast options including cereal, porridge, toast, fruit, a full English and offer additional food options to takeaway for later in the day. As well as food, THAG also provide different amenities including toiletries, essential clothing and practical items such as a sleeping bag to keep people warm during the colder months and a place to dry their clothes if they have been caught in wet weather.
According to a new report from Shelter, there were around 8,000 homeless and vulnerable people in the Southwest as of June 2021 with 1,153 either completely without a home or in temporary accommodation in Cornwall, this included 354 people sleeping rough around the county. Shelter also predicted that just under 2,000 people in Cornwall, may have found themselves homeless over the Christmas period.
During the pandemic, THAG volunteers worked hard to continue offering breakfasts but were required to put in a range of protocols for the volunteers and clients safety. Protocols included wearing masks, providing hand sanitizing stations and additional cleaning of the prep area requiring three volunteers rather than two daily.
THAG’S future objectives are to continue feeding vulnerable people every day, collecting from generous donors a range of suitable clothing, shoes, toiletries and more practical items for distribution to clients. They also stay in contact with other local organisations to help improve the general knowledge of the homelessness in Cornwall, and the ongoing difficulties homeless and vulnerable people often have to face.