GENEROUS York residents have flooded homelessness charities with donations, and now people are being asked to find other ways to help out.

Organisations like the Salvation Army, Changing Lives, Carecent and Peasholme say people’s generosity over Christmas and the harsh winter months was “overwhelming”, and now donors are being asked to think about more ways to help.

The city council’s executive member for housing Cllr Helen Douglas said: “Rough sleeping is a year-round issue and the reasons why they are there can be complex. Giving cash direct can delay them getting the help they need but supporting our work to help them off the streets into safer and more stable lifestyles is crucial.”

The city council compiles official rough sleeping figures in the autumn, and last year that number stood at 29.

However, numbers fluctuate and council staff do regular street walks with Salvation Army workers to check for people sleeping rough in the city. At the end of February they found five people sleeping on the streets, and earlier in June they found 13.

The authority and the city’s homelessness organisations have now come up with a list of suggestions for people who want to help throughout the year, ranging from volunteers to teach homeless people skills like cutting hair or playing the guitar, to offering homeless young people a place to stay.

They are also asking landlords and homeowners to think about helping by letting their properties to homeless families, or taking in a lodger.

The city’s homelessness charities also need fundraisers and financial donations, as well as donations of things household goods and furniture to help people moving into new homes.

Kelly Cunningham, from homelessness organisation Changing Lives, said cash donations help all year round, and can be used on everything from emergency accommodation to therapy and training.

For information on how to volunteer, donate or help, visit