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.