the enormity of the situation they are in. They start off believing that it will be temporary. They sneak into pubs and coffee shops, finishing off other people's leftovers hiding the fact that they are homeless.
They sneak into the bathrooms to use the facilities and freshen up, but this is a downward slope with every day that passes. Shop owners and managers see the pattern and after a while the homeless person starts to look scruffy and their hygiene deteriorates. Admission is
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eventually refused and they realise they have hit rock bottom. Their pride is finally diminished and they seek comfort anywhere they can get it. They beg on the streets, and food becomes a secondary requirement.
Many turn to alcohol because it warms them up against the bitter cold, and it helps them forget. Eventually they lose any thought of getting off the streets and they resign to a life of survival and that is in most cases the most that they can hope for. Many do not survive.
'Bags Of Love' serves an all important service to keep them warm and to afford them the very basics to stay 'human'. But our efforts can only go so far. We need to get the homeless off the streets as quickly as possible and offer them a way out, and back into society as valued people.
That is why 'Bags of Love' are delighted to have joined forces with the wonderful team of Homeless Worldwide. I have been working on both projects for some time now and I know that together we will change the lives of many, many people, helping them while they are on the streets and identifying them to be housed and looked after so that they can find a way back into society.
Spyros Melaris has been working on 'Bags Of Love For Homeless' for over three years. He initially donated any available cash he could and started small.
One day his sister Georgia suggested that he sought the help of friends and family in an effort to increase the reach given by 'Bags of Love'. The idea was to post on Facebook and see how that is received. It was a massive success raising between £300 and £700 extra per month. Each bag costs about £20.00 to make so the extra cash was a massive help indeed.
Georgia, who is a St John's Ambulance worker, sees many medical and emergency incidents involving homeless people every single night while on duty. She was very helpful in determining what is and is not a good idea for inclusion in a 'Bag of Love'. For example, it became very clear that nuts and any other contributor to widespread allergies was a no no. Likewise, only alcohol-free
We have identified several traits of the newly homeless. They start off not really knowing what to do, and they underestimate
mouthwash should be supplied. Many homeless who are living on the street are diabetic. Chocolate bars and sugar products are to be avoided. This wasn't going to be easy, but over time Spyros and his team have sourced suppliers of blankets, gloves, hats, waterproof sleeping bags, umbrellas and the all important waterproof bags to hold it all in.
Let's put an end to homelessness, World-Wide...
The Salvation Army Registered Charity Numbers: 215174 and 214779 (England and Wales); SC009359 and SC037691 (Scotland); and CHY6399 (Republic of Ireland)
Shelter Registered Charity Numbers: 263710 (England and Wales), SC002327 (Scotland)
The Ciro Orsini And Armand Assante Children's Fund Registered Charity Number: 1157493
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