Despite these war-torn unprecedented times, I appeal to you as winter draws in, to spare a thought for Homeless Rough Sleepers, the Forgotten Ones.
These desperate people do not deserve to be neglected and we should not forget that for the majority it is just circumstances, falling on hard times, which can happen to any one of us.
Their stories are similar. Most of them have contributed to society and had good jobs, a family, a home. Then they lose their job and cannot find another. Bills start piling up, the Bailiffs are at the door, and their house is repossessed. Many then eventually end up living on the streets.
Please, if you see a homeless person on the street, just stop and have a chat. It is heartbreaking to be told just how much it means to them when someone stops and says hello! Perhaps give them some food and money.
They have to pay at least £15 to get a bed for one night in a hostel. They cannot get a job, cannot get benefits, all because they do not have an address. Some may drink or take drugs, but perhaps even you would, if you found yourself on the freezing, lonely streets, so desolate, you just want to die. This is not a lifestyle choice!
Often due to violence or sexual abuse at home, young women and men are the most vulnerable. They have been forced out onto the streets with no help or support and nowhere else to go. Ex-servicemen are also amongst rough sleepers. They have fought for this country, surely they deserve better?
As for the council's responsibility, it states that councils have no obligation to house homeless rough sleepers, until the temperature falls to below zero! I do not have to tell you how cold it can get well before the temperature falls to zero.
We do little to stop increasing poverty, with thousands of people destitute and suffering and having to remain on the street, with no realistic hope for any permanent home any time soon. Your donation to homeless charities this winter will help, as the government has once again cut funding and these charities rely mainly on the generosity of the Public. So please, give as much as you can to any homeless charity this winter. (The Salvation Army; St Martin's in the Field; St Mungo's; Crisis; Big Issue; Streetlink; Centre Point; Shelter.)