26 December, 2005

The forgotten few

I was so tired when I got home on Christmas eve that I couldn't sleep for quite a while. So it was about 3am when I finally drifted off. And when I woke it was 2pm on Christmas day and I had missed my morning shift at the shelter but what I couldn't get from my mind was that on the way home we still had people sleeping rough even though they could have gone to the crisis open Christmas for a good nights sleep, something to eat and maybe just to get warm. So I made up some turkey sandwiches and took them round with some bottles of coke I got from my local shop. I ask them why they hadn't gone to the shelter and the answers I got where that some were not English and thought they would not be welcome. Some were to afraid to go as there were too many people they knew and were afraid of. Some were just so used to sleeping out that the thought of being surrounded by others frightened them. I asked if any of the handouts had been they said no but were quite hopeful that some would come on boxing day. It's funny but as we concentrate on the people who come to the shelters over the Christmas hols and receive all the help that's given. It seems that a few are forgotten and these are the people that need our help the most. I remember myself and the volunteer that took me to my first crisis. I was just like the lost souls i have been meeting. I was one of the lucky ones. So if you see someone sleeping out. Buy them a sandwich or hot drink or just say hello. Just saying hello will show them they are not being forgotten and it does cheer them up and it doesn't cost a thing.

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