For the past three years, we’ve been at the frontline providing food and essential services for those in need in Earl’s Court. Throughout the growing Coronavirus crisis we have kept our doors open, providing crucial support for those still living on the streets.
Every day we’re cooking a hot lunchbox to takeaway for upwards of 90 people. We’re supplying 100+ Age UK food parcels. We’re distributing an additional 160+ lunches to the vulnerable supported by Smart. We’re handing out mobile phones so clients can contact our outreach mental health workers providing emotional and practical support. They and partners Glass Door are working every day to find accommodation and manage the escalating fears of those still sleeping rough. In April we’re extending our service and, in collaboration with Re-Start, moving to seven days a week. It’s really hard work but we’ve risen to the challenge.
Whilst local councils have made much of their pledge to find everyone temporary accommodation, too often it’s without adequate, if any, cooking facilities. And food is expensive. From mid-April we’re also going to be delivering lunch to those housed but without kitchens. As one problem appears to be solved, another is created but this problem has a less visible face.
It is a stressful time for all of us but it’s much easier to face lockdown in the warmth and safety of your own home, with your loved ones and a full fridge. Imagine facing this invisible killer in a sleeping bag on a pavement or penniless in a hostel. As one of the few services of our kind left in the area, we intend to stay open whilst there’s still a need. And there is.
We continue to be amazed and humbled by the support we’ve been shown by so many but, without our usual hall rental income, it’s a struggle. We’ve launched a dedicated Covid-19 Appeal to help us buy the takeaway food containers, disinfectant & cleaning supplies, personal protection equipment, and mobile phones we desperately need. Please help us to continue helping those still in need. Thank you. Donations can be made here.
The homeless are ideal candidates for Coronavirus. It’s impossible to self-isolate or look after yourself properly if you are undernourished and have nowhere to call home. Income from begging has dried up and most local day centres and night shelters are now closed as are shops and public facilities. It’s hard to wash your hands or find food.