Over the past 5 years, it has been recorded that the number of people sleeping rough on the streets of London has increased by over 30%. In 2015, government figures showed that over 3000 people were sleeping rough in England, however, Crisis.org reports that local agencies estimate that there are now over 8000 people who are homeless at the time of writing. For the majority of us, we’ve never had to worry about where we will be sleeping. From birth to our adult years, a place to rest has always been taken care of, however, there are over 8000 people in London alone that are unable to boast of the same glorious commodity. Many of us read these statistics but sadly ignore the call to action. We come up with a number of excuses and in the end we fail to do anything to help our fellow man.
Around this time of the year is when people become much more “charitable”, because seeing a human being without a fixed abode will, a majority of the time, ignite compassion, especially when you see a young man or woman sleeping rough in areas that would be classified as dangerous. The adverse weather conditions also has a painful effect on those without a place to stay, and sadly, a sleeping bag does little to bring comfort to someone that has no place to lay his head.
Now we may be sitting in the comfort of our own cosy little homes thinking that being homeless could never ever happen to us. And yes, this is exactly what a great deal of people now living on the street believed. Homelessness is indiscriminate, it can happen to anybody. A parent may have died, houses could have been repossessed, some flee abusive relationships, or the financial markets could have crashed leaving them destitute. Anybody could find themselves on the streets starving and cold given such circumstances. However, without sounding ‘preachy’, you can make a difference.
How Help London started…
About 6 months ago, I and a group of friends decided that we wanted to do something significant to help those whom are less fortunate than us. We each put money into a pot and bought some hot food, roughly 60 containers worth. We all met on a random Friday evening in central London and gave food to anyone we met whom was homeless. In one night we not only covered most of the area but there was no food left over as well. This was the birth of ‘Help London’. Our random Friday nights have consisted of giving food, hot drinks, hats, gloves, scarfs, socks and even unwanted clothes.
What is Help London…
Help London is a initiative formed to help people that cannot help themselves. You don’t have to be rich or well off to help someone in need, in fact, you don’t need money either. Whether it be hot food, old clothes, a spare sleeping bag, unused consumables, a handshake or just a smile, you can make a difference to someone that has somewhat lost it all. This initiative isn’t just about us having sympathy; it’s about turning a mere passing thought into a substantial action. The purpose is not to feed our own guilt, but to give people a light at the end of the tunnel. We aim to enrich them with information, provide warm clothing and covers, and fill their bellies if only for one night, and most importantly give them hope for a brighter future.
What can you do?
Help London meets at least once a month. If you have any unwanted clothes, tins of food, or can even cook a couple of hot meals then please get in touch. You can also donate as well. All proceedings go towards buying clothes & food for our outreach Nights.
Donation Page – https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/help-london-charity
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org