How you can help someone in need this World Homeless Day

Published: Tuesday 10th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Today is World Homeless Day. We spoke with Andrew Smith, Founder of Hull Homeless Community Project, to find out more about its inspiring work.

HHCP became a registered charity in May 2016, but Andrew has been taking action to fight the homelessness issue in the region for an incredible seven years. Run entirely by volunteers, the organisation aims to prevent homelessness and engage with those affected by it through a wide range of services. These include community outreach sessions, drop-in days, a regular children and families club and a mobile hub, as well as educating the general public about homelessness and its many forms.

They frequently partner up with other charities, companies and organisations in order to broaden their reach and deal with extensive issues to do with homelessness. For example, they have worked closely with Breathe for Cameron to administer life-saving asthma training and equipment to shelters. Meanwhile, they have collaborated with tech startup Moodbeam to encourage a discussion about mental health and moods. They are also members of the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership, which addresses the close ties between slavery and homelessness.

According to Crisis, the national charity for homeless people, on any night last year, there was an estimated 4,000+ people sleeping rough on the streets of England. In fact, there was a 16% increase in homeless people in the country from 2015 to 2016.

It has also been suggested that during last year, almost 60,000 households were classified as homeless in England alone.

“Homelessness affects a large number of people in a variety of ways. It can impact children, families, the elderly, veterans, prison leavers, young people who have been in the care system – anyone really,” Andrew tells us. “We find that, in most cases, the individual is in the situation they are in due to a family crisis or breakdown. It’s worth remembering that they are someone’s mother, daughter, father or son. They are still human and deserve respect.”

HHCP is always looking for volunteers to help them carry out their much-needed work across the region. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can get in touch with the team at info@hullhomeless.co.uk.

In the meantime, Andrew encourages everyone to think twice before they walk past someone sleeping on the streets:

“When people ask us how they can help a rough sleeper, we always say to start with a conversation. Often, individuals are hesitant to hand over their money, but by giving five minutes of your time you can really brighten a person’s day,” he explains.

More information about Hull Homeless Community Project can be found on their website.

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Published: Tuesday 10th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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