Before Christmas we set up a health and wellbeing day for those who are rough sleeping, sofa-surfing and families struggling to make ends meet in Hereford. The day was a great success with a huge response with donations in food, clothing, toys and we were able to make hampers to deliver to families in our community on Christmas Eve which also really made a difference!
On the day we had over 30 people, mostly who are rough sleeping and at the winter night shelter and we received fantastic feedback. They were able to get hot showers, have a hot meal, get a haircut and socialise with others not in their day-to-day circles and enjoyed the conversations. They were also able to take food and clothing away with them.
A few days after Christmas we received messages from people we had met on the day and some dangerous situations for those who weren’t staying at the shelter came to light. We are very aware of the amazing job the shelter, hot food provisions and all the other organisations involved in homelessness are doing, but we can’t help but see urgent needs which are easily solved in the short term for those still sleeping rough. We continue to distribute warm clothing, waterproof boots, shelter, coal and wood, food, hot water bottles and rucksacks full of basic survival resources. We have run two other provision and socials days and been out on foot most days in the most severe weather to make sure everyone we know of is as warm and safe as possible, providing assistance and resources whenever needed.
The support from the community for all initiatives has been incredible and whilst we are also looking into long term solutions with partner organisations, with the help of continued support and donations we will continue to provide these basic provisions because we know there is still more needed immediately for some of our community’s most vulnerable.
We are thrilled to be in the process of setting up as a registered charity which will enable us to access further funding and support from businesses to be able to secure a premises and reopen a day centre in Hereford. This vision will ensure that those who find themselves homeless are able to access shelter, food and drink, clothing and ongoing support in a neutral, safe and inclusive environment.
To follow our activity and progress please visit our Facebook page at https://m.facebook.com/Herefordhomelesswintersupport/
Thank you so much for your support!
Alice, Jo, Gideon, Lucy, Michelle and Amy
The Hereford Homeless Support Team
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