Dominique Harrison-Bentzen is the student who started the “Help Robbie” campaign.
The “Off The Streets” fund was established following the amazing outpouring of support when the “Help ‘Robbie’ (John)” story became of interest in the local and national media.
The amount of money raised went far beyond anything that Dominique had hoped for, and she asked for this money to be properly managed.
She approached The Foxton Centre, a well-established local charity, known for its work with the homeless and vulnerable, to take responsibility for this money. The trustees of the organisation agreed to set up and administer a fund for the benefit of the rough sleepers and homeless people in Preston.
The fund is open to applications to help individuals break out of the cycle of homelessness and re-establish themselves in the community. For this purpose the fund is kept separate from the charity’s general funding.
To this date, the fund has supported twelve individuals, including John (‘Robbie’), in a variety of ways, including the payment of deposits for accommodation, furniture and equipment to set up a home. In exceptional circumstances it has been used to pay for emergency accommodation in hotels, as there is a shortage of direct access accommodation.
In addition, at the request of Dominique and John (‘Robbie’), a sum of £2,000 has been donated to the soup kitchens that operate in Preston and serve the needy and vulnerable people of the city. The same amount has been donated to fund the “Street Pastors”, who work on the streets to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.
The Foxton Centre is very grateful to Dominique, who has presented the homeless and vulnerable people in Preston with a great opportunity to turn their lives around. We will be publishing further updates on “Off The Streets” fund as well as our general work, via our website and social media pages.