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

Site news

Hi all,

Hi all, hope that you enjoyed the holiday period and the new year finds you well. I did manage to go into the city centre again this year to hand out mince pies and Christmas cards to the homeless. We (my God-daughter and I) handed out 22 sets in apx one and a half hours. It was a bitter-sweet experience that shows the number of people in need in such a small area. I will write up my experiences to add it to the site and on here soon.

In other news, we hope to have a new poster soon so watch this space. We also hope to expand the site to include information from beyond Leeds. Thanks so much to the person who kindly sent us the Manchester help numbers. If you live outside of Leeds and know any helpful numbers or organisation please let me know so I can let others know. This is by no means the end of winter so that's club together and get the information to those that need it in the cold days to come.

Last but most important. Have you stopped to say hi to a homeless person recently? Give it try and let me know how it goes.

 

 

Support - Advice from Shelter on how to claim benefits when homeless, including the fact you should be able to use your local jobcentre 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 the mystery person who kindly sent the below wool to be a friendly face. My crochet hook is a going and a new blanket will be making it's way to a person who needs it in the near future. If anyone is interested in seeing the blankets I make let me know and I'll post some phonto's and set up a link fo the site. Donations of wool are always welcome. I am in touch with several organisations and groups that can always use the blankets. Many thanks to Christina Green for also donating wool in the past.

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.

Sorry - gremlins as work. Hope to have the icon here shortly. Feel free to e mail for information.