WINTER Is Here – A DEVASTATING REALITY FOR THE HOMELESS
For the homeless, it is no winter wonderland.
The first yellow leaf announces the coming of fall, and winter; and with it, the holiday season. Families gather together to celebrate what they are thankful for, their beliefs, and family heritage. It is the time for hot chocolate and cozy blankets, perfect to stay inside…for those who have a home. The pandemic is not helping either.
But for the homeless, fall and winter cause anxiety. Many will scramble to find decent gently used coats and newspaper to stay warm. Some may receive the help of the community and their families to battle the weather. But some of our most vulnerable, single homeless adults may not have a support system. Even some families with children find themselves exposed to the elements and staying outside. Those who sleep outdoors in the cold, face the risk of dehydration, frostbite, and/or hypothermia.
Hypothermia is a real concern for those not living in the comfort of a warm home, and if exposed to extreme weather, our bodies’ temperature may drop below 95 F and could require immediate emergency attention. As winter approaches, this is a real fear for many homeless individuals and families. Resisting the harsh weather, without a home and nowhere to go, is nearly impossible.
This not only affects the homeless, but it also impacts the lives of low income families and individuals with scarce resources. Many people living indoors may still find themselves suffering from extreme cold weather conditions due to lack of proper heat or electricity. Lack of access to health care or a proper diet may also increase the chances of sickness. All of these factors raise concerns in our community, as we strive to serve those who are most vulnerable.
For a homeless person, winter is anything but magical. Here at Belfast And Lisburn Community Project, we are working with our amazing community supporters and volunteers to bring some of the magic and joy of the holidays to our community facing homelessness. We believe that with each passing year, we are getting one step closer to no one sleeping outside during the cold season. What better time than the holiday season to start reaching for that goal? Ask us how you can volunteer, Donate and support our programs, and if you know of anyone suffering from homelessness, please refer them to Northern Ireland Housing Executive and provide them with their phone number 0344 892 0900. Let us spread the joy this holiday season with those who need it the most, by helping them sleep in a warm and safe space!
To Donate: Visit our Donation page to see how you can help https://balcproject.org.uk/donation/