We are asking people to help us make Christmas special for those facing homelessness, as temperatures plunge across the UK.
While many of us are enjoying the festivities in the lead up to Christmas, those who are sleeping rough on the streets don’t have the same luxury. Winter is especially challenging for homeless people, and life on the streets, or in precarious accommodation, can be lonely and dangerous.
All of our 208 residents - who without HARP's support might be sleeping rough this Christmas - as well as those still sleeping on the streets, are offered a meal, a Christmas present and a special day at HARP over the Christmas period. This can only happen thanks to the support of the local community.
Last December alone the charity provided around 5,300 meals, and gave out 251 emergency food packs and 31 food parcels. HARP also provides accommodation for over 200 people, as well as an emergency night shelter, and last year supported over 1,200 people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Marie came to HARP after being suddenly evicted by her landlord with no notice and nowhere else to go. Having previously been homeless, Marie thought that it was all behind her, so was was shocked to find herself desperately needing HARP’s service again.
“When I was suddenly evicted, I felt so sick and I was physically shaking. I hadn’t felt fear like it since being in recovery, and just didn’t know what to do.”
HARP were able to provide accommodation within 24 hours, and with HARP’s help Marie has been able to stay sober, overcome mental health challenges, go to college and volunteer. She said: “I want people to know that there’s a way out, even for people who aren’t ready to make a change yet. You can achieve, even if you’re homeless. I have done it with the support of HARP. Without HARP’s support I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Marie has turned her life around and moved into her own flat, marking an important milestone in her journey away from homelessness. She’s done it all with HARP’s help, which has only been made possible by the support and donations the charity receive from the local community.
HARP is asking people to spare more than just a thought for those on the streets this Christmas. Just £10 can bring a little Christmas magic for those, like Marie, who have been through a traumatic time.
By donating to HARP this Christmas you will provide so much more than a Christmas meal, you will be giving local homeless people the compassion, safety and support they need during the festive period and beyond.
Click here to make a donation or donate £10 by texting the word XMAS to 70450*
*Texts cost £10 plus on standard rate message