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Christmas meals appeal 2017

Christmas is a special time for everyone and it’s particularly important to us at HARP. Whilst most of us are enjoying time with our families and a much needed break, for those living on the streets it can be a very lonely and stressful time of year. Many homeless people tell us they feel isolated and at risk, at what should be a safe and happy time of year.


This was the case for John, who lived and worked out of a van for ten years before seeking help from Citizens Advice, who told him about HARP's services for homeless people in Southend. John had never considered himself to be homeless before, because he was too busy focussing on surviving.

“I was just surviving; keeping a job going, keeping money coming in,
trying to help my friend – running myself into the ground. Surviving;
falling from one disaster to another, but getting out the other side.
I just kept going. But I got to the point where I collapsed.”

John has found accommodation and support at HARP and is now in the process of  turning his life around. He has discovered a passion for art and poetry. One of his poem's, 'Other Side of the Street', is featured at the bottom of this page. This year, John is looking forward to Christmas in a safe, warm and stable place of residence.

“Without HARP’s supporters I’d be on the street right now and I don’t think I’m capable of being on the street! I got lucky, they sent me here. I have a proper room, heating and people to help me with my problems. I hope my poems and talking to you can help HARP to help other people too.”

Show your support to more people like John this Christmas by donating to our Christmas Meals Appeal.


By clicking below to donate, you will help to provide so much more than a Christmas meal; you will give local homeless people compassion, safety and a friendly smiling face throughout the festive period and beyond…

Text XMAS09 £10 to 70070 to donate £10 for a Christmas Meal

Give a regular gift to support local homeless people this Christmas and beyond

Support a homeless person this Christmas with a one-off gift

These donations will help us to provide meals, entertainment, activities and much needed care and support to local homeless people over the Christmas period and beyond. All donations will be spent where we feel the need is greatest. Many people like to support HARP with non-monetary gifts at Christmas time. Click here to find out more about what we need to provide presents for local homeless people, and to support our efforts over the festive period.

A poem by John, 'Other Side of the Street'

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