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Project information

Street Alternatives

Street Alternatives provides hot meals, showers and laundry facilities to people in Aberdeen who are homeless or in temporary accommodation without access to cooking or personal care facilities. It operates four times a week and is supported by a team of over 60 volunteers.

December 2018 - May 2019

Charity information: Aberdeen Cyrenians

Aberdeen Cyrenians logo
  • Need


    Homelessness is generally the result of many different reasons and circumstances. The effects on people who are homeless can be just as varied. For many it can mean not knowing where your next hot meal will come from or being unable to access shower or laundry facilities. A further issue is loneliness, and the social isolation which comes from being homeless.

    Until we can address these basic needs it is often difficult to put in place longer-term support.


    Through Street Alternatives our aim is to meet these basic needs (access to food, clothing, toiletries, showers, laundry), affecting some of the city’s most vulnerable people. We offer a safe environment to help tackle the problem of loneliness experienced by most of our isolated service users. We run the service four times a week except at Christmas when it is open 7 days a week for approx. 3 weeks

    A member of our Advice team is always on hand so any additional needs can be supported.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide access to nutritional meals and personal care facilities.


    » Open Street Alternatives four times a week to offer a balanced three-course hot meal prepared by volunteers. Extend opening at Christmas.
    » Provide access to shower facilities with towels and toiletries.
    » Provide laundry facilities for washing and drying clothes.
    » Provide clothing and toiletries as required and based on need.

    What success will look like

    We will record the number of people accessing each part of the service (meals, showers, laundry, clothing).

    Aim 2

    To reduce social isolation among people who are homeless in Aberdeen.


    » Provide a welcoming and safe environment at Street Alternatives.
    » Organise activities during the sessions including quizzes, games and crafts.
    » Provide a music group where service users can express themselves through music without judgement.

    What success will look like

    We will keep records of social activities & where appropriate take photos. As part of music group service users will go to a studio to record songs.

    Aim 3

    Tackle homelessness in Aberdeen


    » Before attending Street Alternatives each service user will be assessed to ensure it is suited to their needs. Re-assessment min. fortnightly.
    » At each session a member of our Advice team will be on hand to assist with urgent issues such as housing, benefits and safety.
    » Provide support to access other services both within Aberdeen Cyrenians and external agencies.

    What success will look like

    We will keep records of the number of people assessed and record any further support given during Street Alternatives to individuals.

  • Impact


    We will ensure the basic needs of service users are met at Street Alternatives so our team of Resettlement Workers can help the individuals to address their longer-term needs. The service will enable us to develop trusted relationships with often very chaotic individuals, so we can provide more extensive support and make lasting changes in their lives.

    We will demonstrate the impact of this approach through case studies and updates on our website and in newsletters.


    Two main risks are a lack of volunteers and a lack of funding.

    We have two experienced Volunteer Coordinators in post who are focussed on recruiting and supporting volunteers. Our commitment to providing an excellent volunteering experience has resulted in many long-term volunteers and a good reputation when recruiting new volunteers.

    We are focussed on maximising fundraising opportunities and exploring all available avenues to minimise the risk of not raising enough funds to run the service.


    We will publish updates on our website about the service and send a quarterly email update to donors. We are also active on Facebook where donors can regularly see the charity’s latest news and activities.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £77,500

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £35,000 Staffing Staff costs to provide the Street Alternatives service.
      £12,500 Food To serve nutritious and filling meals at Street Alternatives.
      £22,000 Building costs Rent, maintenance, utilities and cleaning costs.
      £8,000 Support costs IT, admin, phones, vehicle costs (to collect donations)

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Trusts and corporate support £13,500 Guaranteed
    Food donated to the service £10,000 Conditional
  • Background


    Based in Aberdeen we support people across the city and in neighbouring parts of Aberdeenshire. During 2017/18 Aberdeen City Council have estimated an overall increase of 17% in homelessness applications. This is due to a number of factors and we have seen an increase in demand across our services including Street Alternatives.


    Street Alternatives supports people who are homeless and do not have access to cooking or personal care facilities. The majority of people who access the service are dealing with multiple complex issues, suffering from extreme financial hardship and each have their own story often including neglect, violence, abuse, loneliness, relationship breakdowns, and/or substance misuse.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    2018 is Aberdeen Cyrenians’ 50th year tackling homelessness in the city. During this time we have amassed a wealth of experience and have a proven track record of success. We are very proud of the reputation we have gained in the city and through this we have been able to attract the best staff and volunteers who are dedicated to supporting people affected by homelessness.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Street Alternative Volunteers

    Street Alternatives could not run without the support of over 60 volunteers who bring a wealth of experience, dedication and passion to the service.

    Sarah Igesund And Chloe Bartlett

    Sarah & Chloe are our Volunteer Co-ordinators who oversee Street Alternatives, recruiting & supporting volunteers to ensure the service runs smoothly.

    Steve Hughes

    Steve manages the Advice, Information & Support service, ensuring a member of the team is available during activities to provide specialist support.

Song written by Street Alternatives service users about what the charity means to them.