Will you stop for a homeless person this Christmas?
The homeless are undeniably one of the most vulnerable and oppressed sectors of society.
Vulnerable, due to dangerous living standards and their financial instability. Oppressed, due to the shocking amount of public ignorance towards them.
On every night out round town we are confronted by this social issue.
Homeless people faced with the indignity of having to beg passers-by for any spare change or a cigarette, and more often than not they are left ignored.
We have all done it. But why? How is this ignorance acceptable?
If it was a friend or family member living on the streets with no support we wouldn’t think twice about coughing up.
The unacceptable justification of “it’s their own fault”, or “they’ll only go and spend it on drink and drugs anyway” is disgusting.
Have you taken the time to ask them why they are in the most desperate and tragic situation possible?
These people need help.
The University of Liverpool’s new Help the Homeless society staged an aid event for the homeless people of their town.
Based at the Bombed out Church, a group of 15 to 20 eager students prepared sandwiches and Christmas parcels of scarves, gloves, thermal socks and various toiletries for the homeless people of Liverpool.
Fighting the blistering cold and gale force winds, the group welcomed homeless citizens to enjoy the food and hot drinks provided.
They were also invited to take a care package containing what we would consider essential: gloves, a scarf and socks.
The homeless cherished the simple conversation we had with them, and that costs nothing.
They also gave out advice leaflets with the best shelters to seek help from, mainly Whitechapel and The Basement.
It was an incredibly eye opening experience hearing the tragic stories of how these people ended up on the streets.
While many had suffered from the illness of addiction, others had found themselves sleeping rough through government taxation – primarily the brutal bedroom tax.
One inspiring individual carries around his eviction notice to prove to passers by he did not choose to become homeless. No one does.
At the end of the day these poor people are in a far worse of situation than anyone you know.
So to spare a little change or food, or even just some company, is what we are morally compelled to do as citizens who have basic living necessities.
The President of the society, third year Psychology and Criminology student Hannah Shaw, said: “Last night was the start of things to come, it really highlighted everything we hope to stand for as a society.
“It isn’t going to be easy, and as tonight proved there are going to be challenging situations sometimes but that is to be expected.
“It’s often the little things like respect, conversation and presence which make the biggest difference so that is what we are going to start off with.”
The society are collaborating with other charitable projects with the ambition to start a clothing and food bank next year.
At the moment, there is a mobile breakfast serving three of Liverpool’s refugee housing accommodation sites every Thursday morning.
Second year Hispanics student Abby also went along this week and said: “The experience was extremely thought provoking and highlighted the social issue of refugees and all vulnerable people needing help.
“It was so rewarding too. It doesn’t take a lot to simply hand out some resources and breakfast to those who desperately need it.
“Yet it goes a very long way. We need to raise awareness for this cause.”
Christmas time will prove especially difficult for all those suffering in society from poverty and homelessness.
Projects like Help the Homeless society are helping to change this situation for the better. If you can support them in any way by giving clothes, food, home resources or money, it will massively help.
When you walk past someone living on the streets over this festive season, which you all will at some point while spending your money on Christmas shopping or stumbling over cobbles on your Christmas do, please think twice before you ignore those without a roof over their head.
It really doesn’t take a lot, but will make a significant difference to them.
It is Christmas, after all.