Thank you so much for your generous support this Christmas. 2020 was an incredibly rough year for so many of us, but when facing hardship so many of you chose to reach out and help others. To make sure people in our society were not homeless and alone at Christmas. Across the country, amazing people came together to donate, fundraise, and volunteer their time to help people experiencing homelessness. We were able to support hundreds of people over the Christmas period, and this wouldn’t have been possible without you.
You helped to provide warmth, comfort, safety and hope for the future. As more people face the prospect of losing their home, your support will help us continue to be there, side by side, every step of the way. Until everyone in our society has a place they can call home.
Tomas*, 36, found his stay in the hotel “Brilliant!”. He said, “Giving me a chance to feel normal again. Having my privacy back, feeling safe, sleeping on a comfortable bed, having food three times a day and a bathroom!"
“After two and half years on the streets, having a break from all of it is great. I feel very much grateful for this opportunity. Thank you!”
If it wasn’t for Crisis, Tomas* said he would have been on the streets at Christmas.
“I know the years ahead will be better. I just hope you guys [Crisis] keep doing what you’re doing, which is incredible by the way.”
Tomas* agrees that we should all have a home and said “We all need something to hold on to, to keep us safe and sane. Having a place to go back to at the end of the day and reunite with loved ones is priceless.”
*Tomas is a pseudonym to protect his identity.
“I have been volunteering with Crisis at Christmas now for several years. I enjoy helping our guests (Crisis always call our visitors "guests"; the emphasis is on treating the down-trodden, the forgotten, the ignored as real humans) at the East London Day Centre and have fulfilled most of the roles, ranging from serving meals, being the information robot and even cleaning the toilets (not nearly as bad as it sounds!). So, it was a heavy heart that I learnt a few months ago that the offering this year would, understandably, be very different.
“This year instead of the day centres, Crisis ran several hotels for guests to stay at but with a greatly reduced social element to our guests visit. The hotels who assisted were amazing and I hope the companies that worked with Crisis get the recognition they deserve.
“My role this year would be working at the call centre.
“My wife and I, along with the other volunteers, would be the first point of contact for people calling our helpline.
“We took various calls from people who were looking for help with accommodation, seeking advice on immigration or simply wanted a chat with a friendly voice. I was very nervous but the training we received was great and really helped me help our callers.
“Volunteering with Crisis is very fulfilling as you get to see first-hand the results of your contribution. It is, without doubt, the most upsetting yet uplifting few days of my year and I urge anyone reading this to give it a go. Your soul will thank you.”