Winter, with its frost, chilling winds and long, dark nights, is not the easiest time of year for any of us. But it can be a time of terrible hardship for many people living on the streets. Some rough sleepers actually die on the streets or come very close to death, during the harsh winter months.
Helping people who are homeless is what The Salvation Army does, and so we want to make sure that we’re there for as many people as we possibly can this winter after what has been a tough year for people who are homeless and living on the streets.
We offer a wide range of professional support in our Lifehouses (residential centres for people who are homeless) and drop-in centres year-round across the UK. We will be supporting people experiencing homelessness however we can in these winter months.
Help us help people like Stephen.
Stephen was born in London and had a happy childhood, but from an early age he struggled with his mental health. In his teens, Stephen took cannabis as a way of coping, but it only made things worse. After a particularly bad argument with his family, Stephen walked out.
For 15 terrible months Stephen slept rough – in parks, car parks, shopping arcades or anywhere he could feel safe. The experience left him deeply depressed. ‘When you are on the streets, you feel invisible’ he says now.
When the local council put him forward for a flat at Malachi Place – a Salvation Army-run scheme in Ilford that provides supported accommodation – he jumped at the chance. Despite the bad things that happened, Stephen’s is a story of hope and achievement. It shows you how, with our support and yours, people really can turn their lives around.
For The Salvation Army it is unthinkable that people should be living on the streets in the bitter cold, especially at Christmas. No one should have to live on the streets. No family should be without food and heating. No older person should have to be alone. That’s why we won’t rest until we’ve reached out to as many suffering and vulnerable people as we can.
Please support our Christmas Appeal so we can provide food parcels, practical support and somewhere to sleep for people who are homeless this winter.
A gift of:
- £19 could help provide a box of groceries and modest gifts, so that families who are struggling in poverty can share a basic Christmas meal together.
- £45 could provide an hour of one-to-one support work for five homeless people in one of our centres to help them get back on their feet and make a fresh start.
- £112 could provide a Christmas dinner and the promise of companionship for 50 lonely older people.