“Helping one person might not change the world but it could change the world for one person.”
HALF OF homeless people are afflicted with diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer or arthritis but do not receive any treatment. It’s a piece of information I came across when looking for inspiration on homeless issues.
Ben Kentish recently wrote in The Independent about how homelessness has surged by 34%, with 100,000 more families losing their home compared with 2010. One hundred and twenty thousand children are living in temporary homes as councils illegally place families in unfit accommodation. The situation with the majority of those we serve is so dire that they most probably are not listed on any records or databases.
The One Third soup kitchen team were, as always, at Stratford City on Saturday night with homeless guests. We knew beforehand that Eid had been announced in Saudi Arabia for Sunday. Even though we were sad to see the end of the blessed month of Ramadan, the mood within our volunteer team was high spirited in anticipation of a day of joyful celebration.
I had quite a busy day with a Running Down Dementia jog in the morning, watching my beloved Scintilla in action twice (controversial loss) and squeezing in some Eid shopping. I was joined by Marjan, Amzy and the SPLASH kids from Poplar, who are well known for their inspiring philanthropic activities. Even during Ramadan, the kids have carried on with their community activities, including visiting and serving the elderly at care homes with delicious home cooked foods.
This week a number of old faces were absent, but that’s the case in the summer months, when the hot weather encourages freedom of movement, as our regular guests move about localities. I had a good chat with Danny about Ramadan and what Eid means. Billy was his usual jolly self and Amanda and Rose were missing.
Fasting is a really good way to empathise with the hungry and homeless – with a significant difference being that a lot of us eat a hearty meal at the end of an 18 hour day of fasting. For our homeless friends this is not the case, and many struggle even to get their daily nutrition. With added awareness amongst the greater public, I’m sure we can all help make things a little better.
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