Would you consider giving up your Christmas day to spend the day in a homeless shelter this year? Many volunteers up and down the country are set to give up their family time and devote themselves to the very worthy cause of helping people less fortunate than themselves. These people are the unsung modern day heroes of today.
Christmas is about giving, singing carols, mince pies, presents and family but for so many people this is not the case. Many of us take for granted how lucky we are at Christmas – it can be a person’s worst nightmare! Many of us get wrapped up in the challenges of present shopping and the revered Christmas dinner – how stressful it can all get for us. Unwittingly, many of us get bogged down with all the things that need doing as we aspire to make Christmas day the best ever. But in all honesty, why do we place so much anticipation and expectation onto one day? It is just one day!
This Christmas, stop and think about others who are not so fortunate. Imagine not having the money to buy the presents your son or daughter wants this Christmas? Imagine losing your home through no fault of your own – what would life be like? As unthinkable as it is, homelessness is something that can happen to anybody, through job loss, ill health, divorce and family break-up.
According to SHELTER chief executive Campbell Robb, the charity faces greater pressures this Christmas than ever before. With over a thousand people facing homelessness for the first time this Christmas, it is families not just single people who are in need of help. Many of us think of the homeless as single individual people sleeping rough. What we are failing to see is that growing numbers of homeless people are increasingly whole families. All it takes is one thing such as job loss or divorce to break down the stability of the family’s housing situation and we could all be vulnerable. Suddenly racing round the shops for those last minute stocking fillers isn’t quite so vital. A roof over your family’s head is all that counts. Thank goodness for charities like SHELTER and all the volunteers that give of their time and energies for their fellow man in their time of need.
Mr Robb insists homelessness is on the rise and it’s a real problem that is stretching the resources of the local authorities to their limits. They aim to provide a roof over the heads of all the homeless families within their regions this Christmas.
Looking for a modern day hero to celebrate, pop down to your local SHELTER or homeless centre this Christmas Day because down there in these little havens of warmth and aromas of home cooking you will find numerous and can take your pick!
Last December, Shelter’s helpline and local advice centres helped more than 1000 people at risk of becoming homeless over the festive period.
75000 children homeless this Christmas.