Destiny Street Impact (DSi) serves the homeless community in Edinburgh. The DSi team hits the streets of Edinburgh on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, with a service on Saturday lunch times too. The team walk the streets of Edinburgh, whatever the weather, to provide hot drinks, food and relational support to those that are begging on the streets of Edinburgh.
The team aims to provide practical, spiritual and emotional support to the homeless community of Edinburgh, so that the immediate damaging effects of homelessness are reduced, and ultimately that individuals are empowered and enabled to live a life free of homelessness, addiction and poverty.
The DSi team does not just provide food and hot drinks to those that are hungry and cold on the streets, but provides other meaningful services that meet other practical and real needs.
Through training provided, DSi volunteers are aware of the community resources available to those facing issues of homelessness. They are therefore able to signpost people to other voluntary and public sector agencies who can provide support in the areas of housing, addiction, benefits and family mediation. DSi works alongside Destiny Angels to provide further support to those that desire it.
Hats, gloves and socks
Through their work with those that rough sleep, the teams have learnt the simple value of having good quality socks, hats and gloves to keep warm. In 2010, thanks to the Sock Shop and fundraising activities of NHS Health Scotland (Haymarket, Edinburgh), The Sox Appeal successfully collected £1200 worth of good quality, extremely warm walking socks. The Hats for Homeless campaign raised over £600 to provide warm hats and gloves. TK Maxx donated stock and community knitting groups continue to kindly knit quality hats for Edinburgh’s homeless community. The Hats for Homeless campaign were able to donate a large stock to the Big Issue in Edinburgh to provide their sellers with warm hats and gloves. Each of these items are carefully and fairly distributed to those that are begging and sleeping rough in Edinburgh to ensure that the bitter winter months do not take their toll.
Emotional and relational support
The DSi team members are aware that the complicated issues surrounding homelessness means it is neither a simple nor easy task to leave homelessness behind. The teams aim to provide a constant and reliable presence on the street so that strong relationships are developed. Then when people are ready to move on they have someone they can trust to provide them with support. For those that want it, the DSi team is at hand to pray and provide spiritual support.
The ultimate goal of DSi, working alongside other agencies in the city, is to provide a bridge out of homelessness and the associated issues. The team has seen a number of people move on from the streets, addiction and unemployment. Some have connected with the church community, providing them with ongoing relational support. Individuals have commented that the support provided through the DSi team has been invaluable and given them the encouragement to move on.