CEO’s Blog – 01/11/2016

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A Typical Homeless Person?

The Bridge Trust recently held its 20th AGM. As many of you will know, AGM’s can be a little…..shall we say, mundane at times. You have the official business of the meeting; the accounts, appointment of auditors and directors etc., but then what do you do to make it interesting and more importantly, relevant for the audience? It’s often a struggle to get an appropriate speaker, and often what they talk about is not necessarily what everyone at the meeting is interested in. Whenever we can therefore, we try and encourage one of our own residents to speak. Most are unwilling or ill-equipped to do so, but at our October AGM we had someone who agreed to put themselves out there to tell their story. As his tale unfolded, everyone became more and more gripped by what had happened to him, how circumstances led him to become homeless, and what being at The Bridge Trust has meant to him.

We don’t usually put a whole story as a Testimonial on our web page but this time we have made an exception. Have a look at our website https://www.thebridgetrust.org.uk/testimonials/ to see Martin’s story – a journey from being a teacher, with a stable and happy family life, through homelessness and finding his feet to become an Assistant Head Teacher again.

Is it representative of a typical homeless person? Well no, but then again there isn’t such a thing as a typical homeless person – a stereotype, yes, but that’s not reality. Everyone we help is different. Everyone’s life has been shaped by their own personal history – circumstances, family, friends (and enemies), jobs, successes, failures, adversity, love – the list goes on and all these things are different for each of us. So how could there be such a thing as a typical homeless person? The Bridge Trust exists to give anyone a chance, an opportunity to change their lives – no matter who they are or what has led them to arrive at our door.

At our AGM we discussed the fact that The Bridge Trust is going through a very difficult time at the moment due to funding streams dying-up and if we don’t get more support, our service will probably not be here in the future. We have already had to sell one of our houses this year (one that Martin was living in) and therefore can help less homeless people now and we really can’t downsize any more as the demand for what we do is still high. I urge all our supporters to try and help us, either with a one-off or a regular donation. Maybe you could do a sponsored something or other for us? Maybe your company could adopt us as their charity of the year? Are you a member of a club, on a school PTA or in a church that could be persuaded to help us? Please do think about how you might support our work so we can still be here for the “Martins” in our community.