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.
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.
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: