With the winter weather setting in and the temperature continuing to drop towards 8C, some of the local St Albans homeless charities teamed together for a St Albans Sleepout.
St Albans Sleepout was an event held for the public to help raise money for 5 different local homeless charities by sleeping out in the cold for one night. The charities that were involved in the partaking of the event this year were ‘Herts Young Homeless’, ‘Centre 33’,’ Open Door’, ‘Emmaus’ and for the first time this year was ‘The Living Room’. The event was held this year at Oaklands College due to refurbishments at their normal location at The Abbey.
Bracing the icy winds of 7C, over 63 people attended the event wrapped up in sleeping bags, bivvy bags and shelter made from cardboard boxes. People of all ages attended the event some including; Scouts, groups of friends and people who braved it alone. Lucy was one of the women who came alone to the event in aid of a family friend who, sadly just recently passed away from cancer, was an avid fundraiser for homeless people in St Albans.
“I have always been aware of homeless people in St Albans and help any way that I can, although I do believe that the public attitudes towards homeless people are not that great. I believe that by me and the other people doing this here today, we could change those attitude’s and help those in need and get people off the street”
Although the event was open to people who have luckily never had to experience homelessness before, there was one man who had been through it before. Ricky, who was homeless for a while due to a family breakdown, bed hopped between B&B’s and hostels after being kicked out from his house.
“I became isolated and didn’t speak to anyone and my journey of homelessness was quite scary, and I lost hope that I would ever get a place to call home, then Herts Young Homeless helped me gain a grant to get me the basics. Herts Young Homeless are great and they still help me today by allowing me to become a volunteer and teach others”
Herts Young Homeless is just one of the five amazing charities that helped set up the event, and them alone raised £7000 at last year’s Sleepout event. There are many things that you can do to help homeless people in Hertfordshire such as taking part in fundraising events, such as Sleepout, or even sitting down with them and having a chat which would bring a smile and make their day that bit better.
For more information on how to help someone if you find them homeless please follow; https://www.bigissue.com/latest/what-to-do-if-you-see-a-homeless-person/
If you would like to know more about Herts Young Homeless and how to get involved please follow; https://www.hyh.org.uk/