Street Alternatives

Street Alternatives offers practical support to people in Aberdeen who are sleeping rough or who have no/limited access to cooking or personal care facilities.

About the service

The service runs four sessions a week, supported by a large team of volunteers, providing hot meals, along with access to showers and laundry facilities, clothing and toiletries.

Those attending are also invited to participate in a number of planned social activities including games, crafts, quizzes, music groups – as well as external activities including football games and the theatre. Service users often face long periods of isolation and facilitating these activities provides staff and volunteers with opportunities to work towards reintegrating them into the wider community and towards independent living.

A Resettlement Worker attends every session and can offer advice and support to all people who present with issues or unmet needs. Before accessing Street Alternatives people are asked to attend the Direct Access Service to have their individual circumstances reviewed – with the aim of helping to address the root cause of their need to access services for food. This includes advice on housing, health and wellbeing, substance misuse and financial hardship.

Who we help

Street Alternatives helps people aged 16 years and over:

  • Who are rough sleeping or sofa surfing
  • Who have no or limited access to cooking or personal care facilities
  • Who are struggling financially
  • Who have difficulties in accessing benefits
  • Who are vulnerable or at risk.

Additionally those accessing the service may have mental health issues, be socially isolated, or have substance misuse and health issues.

How we help

The service aims to address the following:

  • Nutritional needs by providing a balanced hot meal
  • Mental health needs through advice and information, ongoing support, and providing a safe welcoming environment
  • Personal care including access to showers, laundry, toiletries, and clothing along with hairdressing and foot health sessions
  • Social isolation through activities and communal dining

How to access the service

Street Alternatives is accessed via referral from our Direct Access Service.

Individuals can come along to Drop In to discuss their situation with a Resettlement Worker to determine access to Street Alternatives. Those using the service are then encouraged to engage with Resettlement Workers at least every two weeks to review their circumstances and receive support to help with underlying causes of financial difficulty.

How can I support this service?

The service has fantastic support from the local community including regular, long-term volunteers, food, clothes, toiletries and financial support to cover core costs. More information is available on the pages below: