Christmas appeal 2020

 

Text XMAS to 70450
to donate £10* 

which could help to pay for a hot meal and somewhere safe and warm to stay this Christmas  

Will you show someone like Jess you care this Christmas with a gift of just £10?

This year, Christmas might feel a bit different to usual. But most of us can still look forward to a cosy festive break spent celebrating as best we can, in homes where we can feel safe, warm, and comforted.

 

Many people struggling with homelessness have already endured the coronavirus pandemic without a safe place to live. And now, Christmas will be spent in cramped bed and breakfasts, sleeping in cars, or in temporary precarious accommodation alone and isolated.

 

No one should have to cope with such misery and stress – let alone at this time of year.

 

Christmas is regarded as the season of giving and spending time with loved ones, so I ask you to please spare a thought – and if you can, a donation – for local homeless people like Jess this Christmas.

By donating to HARP this Christmas, you will 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.

Just £10 can bring a little Christmas cheer for those, like Jess, who have been through a traumatic time.

Jess had a traumatic childhood. At just 11 years old, she slept rough for the first time. Even at such a young age, it felt safer sleeping on the streets than at home.

“It was awful. People just gave me dirty looks and walked straight past as if I was nothing."

Jess 1 - for website.jpg

Support someone like Jess this Christmas by making a donation today.

"No-one offered me help and there were days when it poured with rain,” Jess told us. 

In adulthood, a combination of anxiety, depression and problematic relationships have again forced Jess into homelessness.

Most recently, Jess was forced to leave her long-term, volatile relationship, leaving her with nowhere to go. Jess had no choice but to sleep on the streets again.

"I’ve been with him since I was 16, and we have two young children, but I knew I couldn’t go back. If I went out I didn’t know what I’d be coming back to, so it made me not want to go out in the first place, even to go shopping," said Jess. 

Text XMAS to 70450
to donate £10* 

which could help to pay for a hot meal and somewhere safe

and warm to stay this Christmas  

“I don’t want to live like that anymore.”

Thankfully, Jess had been supported by HARP in the past, and knew where to come to get the help she needed. We were quickly able to offer Jess a room in our single gender accommodation, White Heather House.

"Last time I came here for help, I needed a lot of support, but now I feel much more stable. I remembered a lot of what I learned from my first stay here. And because I knew what to expect, it made it much easier to settle in. I am doing group counselling sessions and working with my key worker, but I don’t need as much support and that’s thanks to HARP.”

Jess has dived in to our Meaningful Activities program, and in addition to counselling sessions, she’s take up music, art and cooking activities, as well as our “Ready to Rent” course. Jess now feels like she’s been able to move forward much faster as a result of the support she’s received, making good friends along the way.

"I’ve been on top of the world since coming to HARP."

“The best thing about being at HARP has been the interaction with all the girls in White Heather House. We had a good laugh and they ended up being more like family than friends.”

After just one month in White Heather House, Jess was ready to move into our longer-term supported accommodation, which is the next step to independent living for our residents. Jess is determined to take control of her life.

 

Jess’s resilience is an inspiration and she is looking to the future, hoping for things that so many of us take for granted – a stable life, a job and a home for herself and her children.

"I just want to feel safe and live somewhere where I won’t be told what I can and can’t do, where I won’t get kicked out, and where I can have my children with me. I’m not being controlled anymore."

"I deserve to be happy and I’m going to keep marching forward.”

Now that Jess has somewhere to call home and the stability she needs, she is looking forward to Christmas at HARP.

"I don't know what Christmas will be like this year but knowing I’ll be safe and warm at HARP is a big weight off my shoulders. Of course, my perfect Christmas would be to spend the day with my girls but if that can't happen at least I know I'm somewhere safe, with the support of my friends and the team at HARP."

Jess has a message for anyone who finds themselves homeless or is worried about losing their home.

 

“Contact HARP and get the help you need. There’s no need to be ashamed of asking for help."

“Without HARP, I’d still be on the streets!”

The residents in our 222 rooms - who without HARP might be sleeping rough this Christmas - as well as those still sleeping on the streets, are offered a meal and a Christmas present over this Christmas period. This can only happen thanks to your support.

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

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

Support someone like Jess this Christmas by making a donation today.

Text XMAS to 70450
to donate £10* 

which could help to pay for a hot meal and somewhere safe

and warm to stay this Christmas  

* Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message.

Donations to our Christmas appeal 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 the items we need to provide presents for local homeless people, and to support our efforts over the festive period.

~ In order to protect the privacy of this individual and her family, names have been changed and photos of models used for this article.

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