Hot And Humid
Again another hot and humid evening. We welcomed 44 people in tonight, so the same as last week. The kitchen was very hot again, even with the door open. Jan cooked a meatball and pasta bake which went down very well. Carrie and David were in the kitchen and between the three of them as usual did an amazing job. The kitchen is a intense place to be as it is very very busy with little space. I’m sure at times it is difficult to keep “cool” in more ways than one but the kitchen volunteers always put the hungry clients first.
This lovely picture was taken by one of our volunteers, our wonderful PCSO has a great relationship with the street homeless. She cares enormously and she has gained a lot of respect within the homeless community. They have both given me permission to put it on Facebook and our website.
Antisocial Behaviour Complaints
Since last session I have been made aware a complaint from a member of the public. This evening we got all the clients in to talk to them all about consequences and actions about loud, antisocial behaviour. We have agreed on a two Thursday ban for any shouting or arguing outside the Soup Kitchen. Everyone agreed, this is on top of harsher sanctions for assault or physical aggression. We have a zero tolerance attitude toward bad behaviour in the Soup Kitchen. We have asked the clients not to hang around the front door, but go around the side and not to drink alcohol outside. We discussed the nearby nursery and that some parents feel intimidated. The perception always with homeless and vulnerable people is that they can be threatening. Actually the clients are the other way. However, they are louder than they should be at times, they do not always think. All the clients would be upset if they thought they had offended someone or made a parent feel scared. We have also reiterated with the volunteers that there should always be someone outside at all times to police this.
We had two clients in this weeks with terrible blisters on their feet. The hot weather and being unable to wash and dry feet properly in this weather is an issue. Infection can happen much much quicker in a street homeless person. We give out shower tokens to hopefully help keep the feet a bit cleaner. Often people with mental health issues do not engage in the same way. If they go to a doctors they do not always listen to advice or take their medication or antibiotics. Street homeless especially can suffer from lower immunity. Their diet is poor and they are sleep deprived. Alcohol, smoking and drugs affect the body too. A simple cut can lead to something much worse very quickly. For us we try to support and help people engage as much as we can but fundamentally we are there to listen and signpost as much as possible.
Appeal For Size XL Tee Shirts
We have a street homeless person who has a serious medical issue. We are appealing for some extra large tee shirts. Due to their condition this person needs change clothes regularly and not always able to launder clothes. They can be dropped off at the Salvation Army shop. Thank you in advance. We do provide laundry vouchers from The Laundry Basket. Even though people are living on the streets it is important that they keep clean and fresh. They are like any of us, one chap said to me last night “Meryl we are normal people who are having a rough time, why do not people see that”. He’s right!
Needed Donations Have Stopped
It was a busy session this evening, the heat is causing lots of issues with the homeless. They are sunburned, bitten, hot and sleep deprived. We are desperate for sun cream, after sun, mosquito repellant and bite cream as well as items from our Amazon Wish List. Donations have stopped coming in during this hot weather. Challenges are just as difficult in the summer as well as the winter. Please do not forget our vulnerable community. It’s horrible out there.
One of our clients has received an eviction notice. This person has not been opening their post. We have a solicitor who helps with legal aid work in this field I hope he can help. Now engaging with Swanswell, hopefully they will get back on script again. They are spending little time at home as their flat is such a mess. Due to the chaos and mess this person does not use a bed they sleep on a chair. This person is starting to engage however which is fantastic.
Doctor Appointment Success
This week I met one of our street homeless clients at the doctors to help him enrol. Now he has a doctors appointment booked ready for next week. He is also working with Swanswell. A person of NO FIXED ABODE can get 6 months enrolment at the surgery. They can also use the Salvation Army address too which will give them permanent enrolment. This has been a bit of a problem in the past but the surgeries are working hard to accommodate the street homeless community.
Body Mass Index Too Low
We established the Body Mass Index (BMI) this evening of one of our homeless. BMI was very low. This means that this person is malnourished. Due to his diagnosis and paranoia he does not like attending services that provide food. We sent him off with extra tinned food.
You will undoubtably have seen this week that we have been nominated and shortlisted as finalist within the Charity or Community Award category within the Best In Business Awards 2018. We are humbled and thank everyone for their continued support.