Volunteering with Crisis at Christmas (3)

This year, I am going to be a volunteer with the charity for the homeless Crisis at Christmas.

At the induction session for new volunteers, we were given some background information on the causes of homelessness:

  • The lack of housing overall
  • The lack of affordable housing
  • The loss of a tenancy
  • Lacking work and/or skills
  • In work, but low pay and/or hours
  • Breakdown of a relationship
  • Leaving prison or care

So why do the homeless come to a centre run by Crisis at Christmas?

  • Companionship – someone to talk to
  • Safety – somewhere they will not be harassed
  • Food – warm and nourishing
  • Sleep – warm and safe
  • Medical services such as dentistry and podiatry
  • ‘Feel good’ services such as massage and entertainment

And who are the guests? Based on last year’s statistics:

  • 84% are male
  • The age range is 18-93
  • The average age is 46
  • The top three nationalities are British (about half), Polish and Romanian
  • They are not all rough sleepers but include the ‘hidden homeless’ from squats and so on


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