For the past four years ASM has hosted a Sleepout in aid of Wycombe Homeless Connection – a Christian charity which helps those who are homeless or threatened with eviction. During that time the Marlow sleepout has a raised a whopping £50,000.
Although the Sleepout is not able to replicate the feeling of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness that accompanies sleeping rough, it does give our intrepid volunteers a brief insight into the some of the challenges associated with finding shelter from the elements. It’s also a night of fellowship and ingenuity as cardboard city takes shape. We have seen cardboard tents, churches, kennels, terraced dwellings and many more.
It’s a sad fact that nearly 5,000 people (official number) have nowhere to sleep tonight and will be spending it in a doorway or stairwell – anywhere they feel safe and can get some shelter. That figure has more than doubled since 2010. For them the continued experience of sleeping rough is anything but enjoyable.
October 31st is national homelessness day. So as you draw your curtains against the dark, cold nights spare a thought for those who are not as lucky and will spend the night without somewhere they can call home. Our housing crisis is not going to disappear soon. So homelessness is going to be around for a long time. So how can we help?
There are three things you can do immediately:
This article, written by Muriel Reynolds, featured in the Autumn 2019 edition of The Bridge – the magazine for All Saints’ Church in Marlow. Pick up your free copy in church or download it here.