Off the streets at Christmas

I have just got back in from an early shift with the St Mungo’s Southwark outreach team.  It was a quiet morning. Most rough sleepers have already been taken to the Crisis at Christmas centers where they can stay until 30th December.

Darren from St Mungo's outreach team checks a referral for a rough sleeper while out of shift.

We did find one of the couples I have seen before, still sleeping out.  They hadn’t been in their regular place for the last few days when the outreach team went to try and find them, so Darren wanted to check again today. And they were there. They are sleeping in a place I would never imagine that someone would be. A small, dark, cramped cupboard hidden off the street where bins are kept outside. They have some cardboard on the floor and a coverless duvet and the rest is just scattered plastic bags and rubbish. They seemed really pleased to get the information about Crisis at Christmas. Darren from the outreach team gave them the info sheet including details on where the pick up points are for them to be taken off to the centers. As they are verified rough sleepers, they will be able to get access to the residential centers.

It was a real relief to leave there knowing that they won’t be spending Christmas shut inside that cupboard. They didn’t want to be photographed where you could identify them and she didn’t want to be visible at all, but they did let me take some photos.

A young couple, sleeping rough, read a leaflet about Crisis at Christmas given to them by the outreach team.

Please do refer to the last post if you have seen a rough sleeper and want to know how to tell someone who can help them.

Here are a few more photos from the morning:

The outreach team had received a referral for someone sleeping in a stairwell on this estate.

The outreach team check a car park for a referred rough sleeper.

I had seen a couple sleeping in this stairwell behind the pillar on a recent shift. They are now at Crisis at Christmas.

The light was beautiful this morning. This church tower in the distance reminded me it was Christmas Eve.

The light was amazing this morning. This church looked beautiful through the trees.

Leave a Reply