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Extra support for people who are homeless this Christmas

Published on Monday, December 18, 2023

5 minute read

Dawn Centre

A WARM welcome, friendly places to meet, hot food and Christmas dinners are being offered to people who are homeless, and other vulnerable people, over the festive period.

A full programme of extra support and activities has been coordinated by Leicester’s Homelessness Charter, which brings together a range of local organisations working together to tackle homelessness in the city.

Local charities, faith groups, the city council and other organisations will be providing a wide range of services throughout the festive period to help ensure that anyone at risk of sleeping rough can get the support they need but also enjoy some Christmas cheer.

Rebecca Pawley, project coordinator for Leicester’s Homelessness Charter, said:"Homelessness is on the rise nationally with an estimated 309,000 people expected to spend this Christmas without a home. Leicester's Homelessness Charter was established in 2018 to support organisations and individuals who are working to tackle homelessness in Leicester.

“Christmas can be a particularly lonely time for those experiencing homelessness. It is heart-warming to see organisations, faith groups and individuals working together, to ensure that anyone experiencing homelessness will be able to find a place of warmth and safety, access support and enjoy some festive cheer."

Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, assistant city mayor for housing, said: “Local charities and faith groups in Leicester provide invaluable support all year round and at Christmas they go the extra mile to make sure that some of the most vulnerable people in the city can have a Christmas meal and enjoy good company in a warm and welcoming place.

“We’re very grateful for the work they do and to Leicester’s Homelessness Charter which helps bring together these fantastic organisations. It really does make a huge difference to people’s lives and is needed more than ever at this time of the year.

“Unfortunately, there are occasions where individuals, for their own reasons, continue to refuse immediate support – even when its freezing – but outreach is on the streets mornings and evenings to provide help, including emergency accommodation, to anyone found rough sleeping. Our aim is to ensure that no-one needs to sleep rough at any time of the year and our Dawn Centre is open every day – including Christmas day – to offer emergency accommodation and support.”

Services and extra support on offer for homeless people, rough sleepers and vulnerably housed people over the Christmas period include:

The Bridge Homelessness to Hope, 43 Melton Street, offers breakfast and lunch and a warm and friendly place to meet and chat on weekdays (except Wednesdays and bank holidays) from 9.30am to 4.30pm. Also open on Saturday 30 December from 9am-1pm. Clothes, toiletries, food parcels and use of other facilities are also available. It will also be hosting a special three-course Christmas lunch with all the trimmings on Christmas Day from 10am to 2pm. For details email

Help the Homeless, in Abbey Street, will be providing help with food, clothing and toiletries, as well as guidance and advice on an appointment basis. It will also be open on Thursday 21 and 28 December (from 12noon-4pm) for hot food.

Rachel’s Table will be offering food, hot drinks, toiletries and other essentials from its base in Calais Hill throughout the festive period. It will be open on Mondays, Thursday, and Sundays (except Christmas day). It will also be offering a Christmas meal to takeaway on Thursday 21 December and gift bags on Christmas Eve. All sessions run from 3.30-4.30pm.

Triangle at Holy Trinity Church, off Upper King Street, will be offering a Christmas meal, with gifts and a food hamper, on Friday 15 December from 6.45pm. The group will also be offering a free hot evening meal to takeaway on Friday 22 December from 6.15pm. The group runs a foodbank on Wednesday mornings from Turner Street Rooms (closed on 27 December).

Midland Langar Seva Society (MLSS) will be providing freshly cooked hot meals from the following two locations over Christmas and New Year:

  • St Peter’s Highfields Church – Saturday (23 Dec) from 5.30-6pm; Sunday (24 Dec) and Monday (25 Dec) from 11.30am-12noon; Wednesday (27 Dec) from 12-1pm; Saturday (30 Dec) from 5.30-6pm
  • St Margaret’s Church, St Margaret’s Way – Sunday (31 Dec) from 5.30-6pm

MLSS will also be offering a takeaway festive meal, with Santa hats and treats, from St Peter’s Highfields Church on Christmas Eve (5.30-6pm) and Christmas Day (11.30am-12noon)

The Bowling Green, 44 Oxford Street, will be offering a full sit-down Christmas dinner for homeless people on Christmas Day, along with a festive roast dinner on New Year’s Day. Both meals run from 4-6pm.

The Y Support project, 165 Granby Street, will be offering support, advice and guidance at its breakfast drop-in sessions from 8-10am on weekday mornings throughout the festive period (except Christmas Day). Special drop-in brunch sessions will also be held on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Dear Albert, 68 Humberstone Gate, provides support for people with substance misuse issues and will be open throughout the Christmas and New Year period. It provides a breakfast for rough sleepers and people in emergency accommodation on Sundays, including Christmas Eve. It will also be open on Boxing Day from 10am-3.30pm, with a pizza lunch from 12noon.

No5, at 5 Hill Street, will be open Monday to Friday (except on bank holidays) over the holiday period offering support, advice and guidance for people experiencing substance misuse issues, with breakfast available for rough sleepers.

To help people who are sleeping rough, the city council’s homelessness outreach team is out morning and evenings, providing support including emergency accommodation.

The Dawn Centre, in Conduit Street, will be open every day throughout the Christmas and New Year period offering advice, support and assistance to those who are homeless.

Full and up-to-date details of all services available over the festive period – including those offering meals during the holidays – are available online at  and at

If you’re concerned about someone sleeping rough, you can report it online at and the city council will send an outreach team to offer a bed and other help.

Anyone who has been made homeless or is rough sleeping can call the city council on 0116 454 1008 during working hours from Monday to Friday. This will enable a homeless prevention officer to properly assess their needs.

In an emergency situation – at weekends and out of hours – people can call the Dawn Centre on 0116 221 2770.