Christmas can be the worst time of year for a lot of people, but it can be particularly difficult for those who are homeless. Freezing cold temperatures, seeing everyone spending time with families and the reminder of not having a home for the holiday. But Crisis, a charity for resolving homelessness works to change that.
24,250 people faced homelessness last Christmas, and a quarter of those were in London. In Newcastle there are so many unhoused individuals dotted around the Northumberland Street huddled under blankets and sleeping bags, sat in shop doorways with a cup in hand asking for a little change. Homelessness in Newcastle is an issue all year round but at Christmas, homelessness becomes deadly. That’s why Crisis extend a helping hand for those who need help through their Crisis at Christmas Centre.
The Crisis Skylight Centre was open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day to provide warmth and food. In the lead-up to Christmas, the charity also called for the wider public to donate to Crisis centres. A donation of just £28.18 reserved a place’ at Crisis at Christmas for a homeless person – a big first step to getting off the streets for the long term. Crisis weren’t just asking for money though. People can also donate other items on their wish list, such as food, clothing, toiletries and Christmas gifts including hand warmers, bath gift sets, fleece blankets and tins of biscuits.
It’s not just the homeless who made use of the Christmas service though. In 2017, 260 guests went to Crisis at Christmas in Newcastle, and some were just lonely and isolated individuals who didn’t want to spent Christmas alone.
Crisis announced that four thousand homeless people were helped over the Christmas period last year thanks to donations, and also released the following video.
In addition to food and warmth, Crisis also help people find a way out of homelessness for good through their year-round services. The charity provides advice on housing, employment and benefits, and run a range of activities and training schemes - from IT skills, tiling, cooking and art. So, even after Christmas, Crisis are always on hand to give support and advice to those struggling. By supporting Crisis, you can help someone who is currently sleeping on the streets of Newcastle and give them somewhere warm to stay, food and the opportunity to gain employment and numerous skills. Whether it is the wider public donating money to reserve a place for someone who is homeless, or donating food, clothes or even volunteering, everyone can help make a difference and tackle the ongoing issue of homelessness in the UK.
There are numerous ways for you to help the homeless and support Crisis. To find out more information on Crisis and the efforts they are making to tackle homelessness check out their website here.