Be a friendly face: To see homeless people as individuals with a story that did not start on the street.

Site news

Thanks to all of you that stopped to say hi at Hyde Park Unity Day. It was fun and we spoke to many people. Hope to be there again next year

I managed to add two more charities to the site this week along with what they offer and contact information. I like to make sure that the services I add are still running and where possible talk to anyone that has used the service to see how positive the experience of using them is. Got a list of some other services in Leeds and at some point would like to move on to other areas like Bradford. If anyone would be interested in helping with this it would be most welcome and please get on touch.

Has anyone else noticed a visible increase in female on the streets at the moment? Not that I am in any way suggesting that being male or female and on the streets is worse but research shows that it is usual to have high numbers of female on the streets except in times of war.

 

 

Top News picks

A single mum living in London has been told to move to Stoke-on-Trent - or be made homeless. - StokeonTrentlive

UK's renting millennials face homelessness crisis when they retire - The Guardian

Homelessness in UK v Finland - a short video including the housing first model.

Homeless people now refused social housing due to cost - Wellfair Weekly

 

 

 

Support - Advice from Shelter on how to claim benefits when homeless, including the fact you should be able to use your local job centre as an address. - Help if you're on the streets: claim benefits

- please also see our local services page

 

Thank you to...

A couple of a couple of shouts outs. Many thanks to Christina Green for donating wool for me to make blankets. I have finished the first one and will be handing it on soon. If anyone else has any spare wool it is always appreciated and I can get items directly to people who need them.

Many thanks to a close friend of mine who donated 25 handmade cards and mince pies but does not wish to be named. We handed out 21 in one day and made a lot of people smile in the process. Read about it here - Personal Experiences

Many thanks to the band Cousin Caroline who kindly donated their money from the night to the site. Keep checking in and we'll let you know how it is spent.

Thanks to C Hyde for the £5 donation, this has helped a gentleman pay for a shelter a few days before moving into his own place. After over 30 months on the streets, it means he doesn't need to spend another night on the street.

We are on Facebook.

 

Many thanks to my good friend Faith who has created a Facebook page for the site. Check out

 

https://www.facebook.com/Be-a-friendly-face-229895467815257/  

 

and get in touch. I would love to be able to add other people’s experiences to the site as well as my own.

 

The following e mail can also be used to pass on information to add to the site or just to get in touch to say hi.

 

beafriendlyface@yahoo.com 

 

Thanks for reading

How it started

 

Sorry if this is a bit long, but I wanted to fully explain how the idea came about. So, please bear with me (and feel free to grab a brew).

 

I used to stop briefly and chat to/buy coffee and a sausage roll for a homeless person when I was in town and more regularly for whoever was sat outside my local Co-op. However, after a while, I started to feel more and more overwhelmed by the number of homeless people I could see, even in a small area. I didn’t want to buy food for just one person and ignore the others, but there was no way I could afford to buy for that many people.

 

One rainy morning at 2 am, I had a crazy urge to walk to the Co-op to go and buy cigarettes. (I've no idea why, I never normally bother go to the shop just for cigs at that time of the morning, especially in the rain!). Outside the shop, I saw the form of a person trying to keep dry in a phone box. I walked over, not sure what to say but wanting to say something. Have you ever had one of those moments where your brain fails to work and your mouth works on it own? That’s what happened here. I knocked on the door of the phone box and when he answers, what I blurt out is, “Good job you don’t have a sunroof..”.

 

Thankfully, he laughs. I buy him a sandwich and a hot drink.

 

I saw him a few times after that and we often chatted. Sometimes he volunteers to look after my dog while I go into the shop. If I happen to have a seizure, he will sit with me while I come around. I usually keep a look out for him in the area, and he calls to me if he sees me.

 

I feel we’re forming the basis of a friendship, and as I get to know him as an individual, I notice the entire time he's never asked me for money.

 

After a while he disappears. I ask around for him and in the process start talking to other homeless people, getting to know their names and (importantly) getting to know them as individuals.

 

That's when the idea for this site started.

 

I know the frustration of feeling there is nothing you can do to help. I also know that many people would like to help if they knew what to do. So I came up with the idea of this site.

 

I hope you find it useful.

About the founder

My name is Annette and welcome to Be A Friendly Face.

 

Be A Friendly Face is not a charity. I am one person acting individually, offering practical ways that anyone can help. I hope to build the site into a database of resources along with positive stories from myself and (hopefully) others.

 

Please feel free to get in touch with ideas and suggestions. Our Facebook page is now live. Or e mail - beafriendlyface@yahoo.com

 

 

We are now open to donations via Paypal. Whether it is a penny or a pound every last donation goes towards our cause and help to maintain our website.

Please donate to using the 'Donate' button below.