I mean I come from a middle class background, I’ve been homeless more than once.
Instead of you thinking about what they want, ask them.
There is no point of getting a cup of tea with milk if they can’t drink milk.
You wouldn’t go into a cafe and they just hand you a drink, hand you a sandwich, hand you this, hand you that and you’d go,’oh, ok, thank you’.
So we shouldn’t do that to homeless people.
The vast majority of homeless people aren’t actually rough sleeping, they are in other forms of homelessnesslike sleeping in hostels and night shelters. people stuck in bed and breakfasts accommodation and other things that aren’t a permanent stable home.
Our community are less likely to access mainstream services,we are not the visibly homeless people that outreach workers will see on the street.
And even if we are, being placed in winter shelters and hostels can seem quite threatening.
A lot of our community go into kind of a stealth mode, where they don’t, they are not open about their sexuality or their gender identity,
because they are really worried about homophobia and transphobia or that the staff there, if they are supportive of their identity.
The leading cause of homelessness now is losing a private tenancy.
That’s nothing to do with individual choice or individual problems, that’s to do with a system and a housing market that is out of control.
Individual actions you can take are saying hi, bending down to their level and speak to a person, like a person.
When I was homeless, if someone spoke to me as a person, I’d feel a lot more validated as a human, a lot more validated as a member of society and
I’d actually feel like people wanted to help me rather than just walk past me.
Closer to home have a look, I mean especially now it’s Christmas, have a look at your family unit, are there people missing?
Why are there people missing?
Have then been a victim of homophobia or transphobia?
All of the people that we are working with, all of our guests, they have families, people need to kind of step up for each other I think.