When the nights grow long and the air turns cold, many people either wrap up warm or retreat inside to enjoy a hot drink on the sofa under a blanket. Sadly for the UK’s homeless population, last estimated by the Government as 2,688 in 2020, such comforts can sometimes be very hard to find.
Many people without a home have no option but to sleep outside in public spaces with as much shelter as they can find. During the winter months, they are seriously at risk due to the plummeting temperatures. Others are constantly sofa surfing, which means they rely on the kindness of friends or relatives to ensure they have a warm place to sleep at night.
However, even if someone has a sofa to sleep on, they might not be welcome there until late at night and this can mean spending hours alone in the dark outside where their safety is compromised. This makes homeless women particularly unsafe and can have a hugely detrimental impact on people’s mental health as well as their personal safety.
The cold is another key concern. Most people rough sleeping or sofa surfing don’t have adequate clothing or access to hot food to maintain a safe internal body temperature. Outreach services can take up to 48 hours to find someone after a referral, so even once the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol is activated, meaning all rough sleepers are given temporary accommodation overnight if the temperature drops below zero, people can rough sleep for days on end in the cold.
With all this in mind, the winter months are a critical time for Trinity. We hate to see the suffering of homeless people in Slough, Hillingdon and the surrounding areas, and we want to do everything we can to help.
Whenever possible, we find temporary or permanent residences for those in need. But we cannot do this for everyone, and we do not want to leave anyone to simply fend for themselves, especially at this time of year.
So we humbly ask you – the reader – for your help. Will you donate a tent or a sleeping bag to keep a homeless person warm? Do you have jackets or trousers you no longer need? And would you be willing to buy us something from our Amazon Wish List so that we can use it to help the homeless?
- Donations for Trinity Homeless Projects
- Donations for SHOC
Any assistance you can provide would be massively appreciated. With cold weather on the way, your generosity has the power to save lives.
The Trinity Homeless Projects Team.