Street Spirit has been going just over year. I wrote about it in its early days and it has since grown from strength to strength, making a significant difference to Southend’s homeless and other vulnerable persons. This Friday, a number of those who are involved will be doing a sponsored “sleep out” in the centre of the town. While they will be “roughing it” for a night, they will be under no illusion as to what those who have little choice in the matter have to go through. Here is what one who is taking part has written about the subject:
Did you know in 2013 HARP saw 1300 different people who needed to access their services? That gives you some idea of the scale of homelessness in Southend at the moment. People end up on the streets for a variety of different reasons with relationship breakdown and mental health issues being the two biggest causes.
A local group, Street Spirit is trying to help assist with these issues. Every Saturday from 8pm they are in Clarence Road Car Park giving out advice, food, clothes and human kindness to our fellow humans who are vulnerable. This work is also being carried out with individuals doing the week. We support them even after they have found houses to make sure they don’t lose them again.
We also want to help by setting up central storage lockers so their belongings. We want to set up a homeless football league and to get a community allotment so that rough sleepers can work on it.
This costs money so please donate at https://www.justgiving.com/yimby/sponsoredsleep-out#/
Your money will make a difference. It already has to one person. They needed a passport for ID at the hospital so they can start working there and we provided them with money.
PS: Sadly, I won’t be taking part – I am down to manage our night shelter on that occasion – we have lent out sleeping bags though – that is my excuse and I am sticking to it – good luck to those who do take part – I should add that one of the volunteers at our shelter was himself homeless and was helped to get back on his feet by Street Spirit – just one more example that what the Street Spirit folk do does make a difference – yet so much more still needs to be done!