This is the grim reality for thousands of people in the UK and every two minutes someone faces becoming homeless. This can be for a variety of reasons such as, being evicted by your landlord, losing your job, having health problems, relationship problems or a disaster such as fire or flooding and the dire economic situation we’re in is not helping things.
Luckily there are some options and the lovely people running the night shelter in Hackney have a mission to try and help their neighbours out.
Opening from January to March, the shelter relies on volunteers to help out serving food and providing help and support.
It first opened its doors in 1995 and last year managed to accommodate up to 25 people each night and provided, 2,341 dinners, 2,191 beds for the night and 2,191 breakfasts. As well as giving temporary help to those who find themselves in desperate situations, it also helps out in the longer term and has placed 45 people in stable accommodation.
All the hard work from the 500 volunteers from the local community have helped make this possible as it costs around £70,000 to keep the place running for a year.
The overall aim is to move more and more people off the streets but this won’t work without the help of the volunteers. You can also donate online at the Charities Aid Foundation or by texting HWNS with the amount you’re prepared to give (£2 / £5 / £10) to 70070 to donate (eg HWNS02 £5).
Right now the shelter needs your help and volunteers are required for helping out overnight from 9:30pm to 8am and preparing breakfasts and clearing up in the morning, between 6:30am to 8:30am. There are also other slots available, such as befriending former guests, organising rotas and coordinating teams, fund-raising and serving as trustees.
There’s an open meeting on 11 June at 7.30 at St Mark’s Church Hall on St Mark’s Rise. Not only can you get more information about how the shelter works, and what kind of duties you would have to take part in, you can also sign up.
Words: Rebecca Rutt
Image: Time Out
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