Where I grew up it was not common to see homeless people living on the streets.
But when I was out with my mum shopping we might occasionally see someone sat outside our local Sainsburys or huddled in a corner of a building trying to keep warm.
As a young child I found these people a little scary & I often wondered what had led to them being there.
I remember that my mum never just walked passed them, she always stopped, & instead of giving them money she asked if she could buy them some food. They always said “yes”.
My mum’s actions have stayed with me & I too offer to buy homeless people food when I can. However I am often left feeling helpless even if I have done so because I do not like the idea that they are left out in the cold. I have never been told who can help them & sometimes, even if there is a local organisation who can help, it is not always obvious who they are & how to get in touch.
This can change thanks to a new service called StreetLink which asks the public to report any homeless people they have seen by using their App, phoning 0300 500 0914 or by clicking onto their website. StreetLink then contacts the local council & makes sure that each person is helped out.