This time of year when it’s dark and cold makes me feel for people who are homeless. Who’d want to spend a single night sleeping outside in this weather?
No matter the cause of someone’s homelessness; it can be a vicious cycle. A person needs an address to get a bank account, so that state benefits can be paid to them. They often need to be in receipt of benefits to get support in accessing housing and so that housing agencies can contact them. Of course there are ways around this, but people who are homeless people often don’t know how the system works.
People who are homeless also tend to have complex issues (such as substance misuse, relationship breakdowns, bereavements, etc.) that they are trying to deal with at the same time.
So I recently made two donations to The Albert Kennedy Trust and Shelter. The donations were small, but something is better than nothing. Here is some information about the work the charities do and a link for donations:
|The Albert Kennedy Trust supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans homeless young people in crisis. They have offices in London, Manchester and Newcastle.
Donate to The Albert Kennedy Trust
|Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness – and they campaign to prevent it in the first place.
Donate to Shelter
A friend and I were talking recently about what we do when we see a person who is homeless on the street begging. I said that I don’t usually give money as I don’t carry it, but if I’ve got the time, I offer to buy them a hot drink.
My friend said that he collects McDonalds hot drink loyalty cards stickers and saves completed loyalty cards to give to the person who is homeless and on the street begging. I thought this was a great idea and will be doing it as well.
Anyone can become homelessness, it just needs a certain set of circumstances to happen a person. This means that it can happen to you, a member of your family or one of your friends. I once read somewhere that we are only ever two paydays away from being homeless. Considering this, perhaps it’s worth making a small sacrifice (like that cup of coffee from Starbucks/Costa you buy) and using the money to make a donation to one of the charities above? I’ll let you decide.
|Throughout the year, I’ve also donated items of food to a FoodBank run by The Trussell Trust. The UK is one of the richest countries in the world, yet in the last few years the numbers of people who need to use FoodBanks has dramatically increased. This is worrying and is symptomatic of some of the poorest people being forced to make some very difficult choices.|
I’d like to share a thought with you: It seems to me that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. I don’t write this to be depressive, simply to express a thought that many people are thinking.
Here’s another thought: This is not the kind of society I want to live in. Food, water and housing are all basic things that everyone should have access to.
So the question becomes: How do we go about changing our society for the better?
Any ideas or opinions, please comment below.