Imagine that a traumatic childhood has left you with serious mental health problems. As a result, you find it hard to be patient as you deal with the authorities in charge of your housing. You struggle to control your anger, the relationship breaks down, and you have to leave. So with winter approaching, you’re on the streets again.

Or consider how you’d manage if your gas supply was cut off? You don’t understand why, you don’t know what to do, and you don’t have help to sort the problem out. So it stays that way for YEARS, and you live without heating or hot water….just for the lack of help to sort the problem out.

For most of us, picking up the phone or going online to deal with our essential admin might be tedious  – but we endure the tinny ‘hold’ music and crack on. And if we should fall prey to a crippling bout of depression, and find ourselves unable to tackle these chores of daily life, our partner, family or friends would help.

But for many of our clients, this support is missing, and the scenarios outlined are typical of the problems they face.

As a result of COVID, our Lifeline work now operates on a one-to-one basis. We miss the opportunity to welcome many people at once to the Gateway Centre, creating community and serving hot breakfasts. But now, the time spent with each client can be even more focussed. The immediate need for a shower, a waterproof coat and some food brings people to our door, and we can then engage with the more complex issues underpinning a lifestyle of crisis.

This week is Homeless Action Week. We’re helping people who’ve been powerless to prevent themselves ending up on the streets, and many more whose vulnerable housing situations make homelessness a real danger.

If you already support our work, thank you. If you’d like to, here’s how.