Homelessness help

Homelessness in the cold months – what you can do to help

As our winter weather worsens with torrential rain and plummeting temperatures, this genuinely poses a life-threatening challenge to our homeless community.

Homelessness isn’t always a choice; it is mainly a series of uncontrollable external factors that include lack of money, relationship breakdown, immigration, physical or mental health issues, trauma, grief, addictions and abuse. Homelessness is rarely a life choice. In 2023, there were 271,000 homeless people; 123,000 are children.

Without the refuge of a warm home, people living on our streets during the cold months is a serious issue. The freezing temperatures increase the vulnerability of those without any form of shelter and this is why communities need to come together and help in any way possible. Exposure to extreme cold can have severe consequences on health, leading to illnesses and, in some cases, fatalities. The lack of proper clothing and shelter leaves many on the streets susceptible to these dangers.

Hands on London LogoHere at Recycled Clothing Banks, we work tirelessly with our charity partner HandsOn London and their WrapUp London Campaign to provide sleeping bags and warm clothing and coats to minimise the risk of hypothermia and frostbite during the winter months. We can’t do this without the generous donations from the kind-hearted public.

Whilst shelters play a crucial role in providing a safe haven during the winter months, the demand increasingly surpasses available resources. Overcrowded shelters, coupled with strict eligibility criteria, leave a significant number of people without access to this basic necessity. As a result, makeshift camps and improvised shelters become the last resort for those seeking refuge from the cold. So much more need to be done to get people off of the streets and into some form of adequate accommodation. The vital work of outreach programmes like HandsOn London means that warm clothing, blankets, and hygiene kits become essential to help individuals withstand the winter conditions.

How you can help:

  • Please save up your pre-loved warm winter clothing and sleeping bags and donate them to us or directly to HandsOn London.
  • If you see someone sleeping rough, offer to buy they a hot drink and/or some food.
  • Educate yourself on where the nearest homeless shelter or charity may be so that you can signpost the way and advise accordingly. By getting in touch with the right organisation can empower a person to regain stability and independence with the right level of support.
  • Volunteer your time, skills, or resources to make a real difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness.

As we snuggle up in our warm homes, it is crucial to remember that not everyone has the luxury of shelter and warmth. By working together, we can create a society that prioritises the wellbeing of our homeless community, especially during the challenging winter months.

It’s not too late. If you would like to help your homeless community this year, please contact us today and find out how having a dedicated recycled clothing bank installed or arranging a sleeping bag or coat collection can make all the difference to the lives of homeless people.


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