There are many ways to help the homeless, beyond just throwing money at charities. Most homeless people do not choose to live this way – often caused by being widowed, divorced, ill or escaping abuse. It’s cold, dangerous, boring and most homeless people die age 47 (men) or 43 (women). Streetlink lets you contact authorities or hostels, if you concerned for a homeless person. Also see how to help dogs of homeless people.
Sleeping on pavements is not just cold, but uncomfortable with added risks like fire, theft and security. Blankets are not always needed due to an influx, but homeless people often don’t want to lug around heavy blankets all day. Here are some better ideas:
- Sleep Pod are insulated tents that cost £25 to make. One user said ‘I slept solidly for 8 hours straight. I can’t remember the last time I did that’. Thought up at a refugee camp, the project has hundreds of volunteers.
- Sheltersuit is a a wind-and-waterproof jacket inspired by the designer’s friend, whose father died of hypothermia while waiting for accommodation. Made from upcycled garment textiles, this breathable suit includes a sleeping bag that folds into a duffel bag, and a hood that shields the face from rain and street lights, with an integrated scarf, built-in pillow and room for an extra mattress or blanket. There is also a flexible tent pole in the hood, to keep it upright.
- KipBags contain donated sleeping bags, toiletries, socks, hats & plasters, along with a homeless information pack. Empowerment Plan is a weather-resistant coat or shoulder bag made from upcycled fabric, which transforms into a sleeping bag.