CEO’s Blog – 01/12/2017

There are so Many People who Really Need Your help

Over the Christmas period people often start to think about those who are less fortunate and in the case of The Bridge Trust that is inevitably those who are without somewhere to call a home.  The majority of homeless people in our region are “sofa surfers” who, although they find somewhere to sleep out of the cold and wet for a night or two or even longer, they are still homeless.  Even those who are fortunate enough to be accepted into our accommodation are always aware that it is a temporary situation even if they can stay with us for up to 2 years.

We work hard to make people feel they are at home, but they have to share their accommodation with people they didn’t know before and maybe don’t particularly get along with. The houses we have, despite the lengths we go to, are not the same as a normal home. They need to have heavy, self-closing fire doors, fire extinguishers and smoke alarms in each room. Staff pop in and out to see various residents, house forums take place there, there are some rules to abide by for the sake of everyone’s wellbeing in the house.  None of these things you would have in a normal home of your own.  The Bridge Trust works to secure a long-term home for our residents by moving them on into either private rented accommodation or more commonly, social housing. Through a grant we received from the Kent Community Foundation in 2016, we could give the people we move on, a pack of essential furniture items to help them set up their new home and we are waiting to hear whether that grant will continue for a further year.

At Christmas we remember the 3 wise men who gave gifts for the birth of Christ and many people are very generous at this time of year when they think about how awful it is to be homeless and respond by gifting a donation to help the homeless people we support.  The local Lions club have funded a Christmas outing and meal, local church groups have provided some presents and a local care company has said they will do the same this year.  Many individuals and families do and give what they can to help and we appreciate so much every donation we receive.

If you have never donated money to help support our work with vulnerable homeless people in west Kent, then could you do so this year? As little as £6 would buy a kettle, £15 would buy a bedding set – essentials when people move into or out of our accommodation, £100 would buy a fridge or a bed and £200 a cooker.  £500 would pay for a homeless person to live in our accommodation for a month; all they need to get their own finances sorted out and begin standing on their own two feet again.

So, when you are doing your Christmas shopping, opening your presents with your family or eating your Christmas lunch, falling asleep in front of the tele afterwards or even boogieing the night away at a party, please spare a thought for those who don’t have access to a “paradise” containing such “luxuries”. Please donate to The Bridge Trust this Christmas – there are so many people who really need your help.