They say you’re only ever two pay packets away from being on the streets yourself.
As temperatures plummet, we all can’t wait to get home at the end of a long day to turn up the heating, prepare a warming bowl of comfort food, snuggle up on the sofa with a hot chocolate or relax in a steamy, hot bath before cosying up in our comfortable beds for the night. But for some this couldn’t be further from the truth as for those unfortunate to be living on the streets, a long, freezing and lonely night awaits; tonight and every night for the coming months. Freezing temperatures cause immune systems to drop and blood pressures to rise increasing the risk of a heart attack, stroke, hypothermia and frost bite to face, hands and feet. Incomprehensible news that is both heart-breaking and gut-wrenching. Below are a few suggestions on how you can help.
Support The Whitechapel Centre
Whitechapel Centre, a initiative set up in 1975 to meet the needs of homeless people in Liverpool. It started off as a day centre to provide meals and washing facilities but has evolved into so much more and just last year 2500 people came through their door. They do a “No Second Night Out” campaign where they vow to never let somebody sleep rough twice on the streets and do an incredible job helping the most vulnerable in society. Whether you want to volunteer, donate some cash or simply know more about them, visit their site here. Keep the number 0300 123 2041 safe in your phone and ring if you see someone who could use shelter for the night.
Buy A Suspended Coffee
The Suspended Coffees movement aims to inspire kindness in everyday life. A simple act of kindness can brighten someone’s day, or even save a life. It’s simple; buy a coffee for yourself and one for someone else in advance. The Brink, Caz’s Kitchen and a few more places in the city allow you to buy a hot drink in advance and throughout the day homeless people know there might be a hot drink waiting for them. Simple? Yes, but sometimes the most simple of gestures mean the most.
Support The Papercup Project
Michelle Langan, the founder of The Papercup Project, started a volunteer led group of people who week in and week out take to the streets armed with baskets of food to offer a meal and a listening ear. As well as feeding them and clothing them they try help them as much as they can try get off the streets. Read their story here.
Visit The Back Kitchen
The Back kitchen (a bespoke catering pod) supports people experiencing homeless to move towards employment, further training or volunteering. Through learning techniques for managing stress, building up their self-esteem and confidence, developing practical catering skills, gaining qualifications in basic food preparation and food hygiene, and opportunities for work experience on our catering pod ‘The Back kitchen’. The students gain level 1 and 2 food hygiene certificates over a ten-week course. They have a restaurant by Chavasse Park you can visit where all funds go back into what they’re doing.
Help The Care For The Paw Project
There are a whole host of places that could use your help. Liverpool Homeless FC, veterans’ accommodation charity Launchpad, food charity As Suffa, ROOF and other street outreach groups like Sisters of The Missionaires.
Happening a couple times a year, this is an event where local people can get involved in an exciting and challenging fundraising event with a poignant reminder beneath it all; this is some people’s every night and the conditions are far worse. Sign up, take the family, bring a board game and set up a sponsor page where the money will make a huge difference for Whitechapel. All info here.
Shoebox Full Of Love Appeal
Shoebox Full Of Love are returning and are looking for volunteers to make up shoeboxes of Christmas cheer which will be distributed to the homeless, vulnerable men, women, children and veterans of Merseyside. Information of what to include in boxes and where you can drop them off can be found here. A very simple yet warming gesture.
Eat Your Greens
Their now legendary Sprout Bhajis will ring in the start of the festive season (from Monday 18th November). Deep-fried with onion, broccoli, fennel and chilli, and served up with Desi-style cranberry chutney, Bundobust have performed a Christmas miracle – transforming the festive veg plenty love to hate into our favourite seasonal snack. For every sprout bhaji butty sold they’ll donate £1 to The Whitechapel Centre. Head to their hidden gem on Bold Street soon!
Think of this as a party of people, a gathering where good things will happen for some of the most vulnerable children in Liverpool and surrounding areas. It all started, as things often do, with a piece of information. 80000 children will be homeless this Christmas in Britain. One idea. Why not get donations of brand new, warm pyjamas and give some comfort and kindness this Christmas. All info here.
Stop And Talk
One of the most valuable things you can give someone in this world is your time. Stopping and having a chat brings us all closer to removing the stigma around homelessness. Once you find out their story and connect with them on a personal level, you’ll be so happy and more than likely make their day at the same time.
GET INVOLVED WITH EVIL EYE BURRITO AND BAR SHACK
The burrito kings on Smithdown Road will not only fill your stomach but will warm your heart with the many events throughout the year to help the vulnerable. Every couple of months they will give you a tasty burrito for just £1 in return for £5 worth of goodies that can be passed on to help the homeless. The next one has not yet been organised but keep in touch with their Facebook here as they’re announced sporadically throughout the year. Craft Taproom just down the road also do some amazing work with food banks.
DONATE TO A FOOD BANK
Food banks rose by almost 40% in the last year and their presence is bittersweet. Whilst they do a great job, we’d love to live in a world where there service isn’t needed. Sadly, this dystopia is true and rather than ignore, we can help. There are lots of food banks in Liverpool who’d greatly appreciate donating some food. We’ve all got spare tins of soup and absolutely everyone has a tin of tuna they have no plans for. Find out where to donate food here.
Help End Period Poverty
Knowsley-based registered charity the Big Help Project (Knowsley Foodbank) is working to eradicate period poverty in Knowsley, with the launch of a new scheme to make free sanitary products available to women and girls across the borough. The new scheme, which officially launched on November 5th last year, will see sanitary products made available, free of charge, across the Big Help Projects network of Foodbanks and Community Shops. The sanitary products will be available to anyone who needs them, as often as required, without any need for a voucher or referral system. More info here.