When it's cold outside, people sleeping on the streets feel it most. With your support we can help them get off the streets.
Homeless, friendless, freezing and hungry
Winter is a terrible time to be homeless, with its bitterly cold temperatures, winds, rain and snow. Some rough sleepers actually die on the streets or come very close to death, during the winter months.
Helping homeless people has been right at the heart of The Salvation Army’s mission since our earliest days. We offer a wide range of professional support, such as our Lifehouses (residential centres for homeless people) and drop-in centres, and through a number of winter night shelters. In addition, we have centres in hundreds of communities, in every part of the UK.
Help us help people like Dan
Like many people, 45-year-old Dan became homeless after a series of terrible misfortunes in his life. Yet what happened to him could happen to almost any of us. Dan earned a good living running his own window-cleaning business. But when he experienced terrible loss, the tragedy affected his mental health and his marriage broke down. In the following years, Dan became depressed and confused. He was unable to continue his job due to a series of falls and eventually lost his home.
Dan is a proud man. He was so ashamed of being homeless that he didn’t want anyone to know – least of all his children. He found an abandoned car in a remote spot to sleep in.
After weeks of living in freezing weather and lonely squalor, Dan thought he didn’t have a friend in the world. But then a passer-by spotted him, and this kind-hearted lady was distraught at the terrible conditions Dan was living in so she phoned the local Salvation Army and asked us to help.
Dan couldn’t believe it when a Salvation Army officer, Major Heather, turned up with packets of sandwiches and flasks of soup. She didn’t rush away, but sat down to have a chat with him, hear his story and offer him help. Encouraged by Heather, Dan soon started coming to our centre, ‘I feel safe here,’ he told us. And finally he agreed to be registered as homeless with the council so that he could move into one of our Salvation Army residential centres.
In just a few weeks Dan’s life totally changed. He told us:
‘If it wasn’t for Major Heather and The Salvation Army, I don’t know where I’d be now.’
Gradually Dan’s old self-confidence and energy are beginning to come back. So too are his pride and his determination to lead an independent life. It will take time for him to recover from his mental and physical health problems, but he is already looking forward to finding a permanent home and a job. Best of all, he is back in contact with his sons, which means the world to him.
For The Salvation Army it is unthinkable that people like Dan should be left out in the bitter cold, especially at Christmas. No one should have to go hungry. No one should have to be alone. That’s why we won’t rest until we’ve reached out to as many suffering and vulnerable people as we can.
Please support our Christmas Appeal so we can bring other homeless people in from the cold.