World Homeless Day – A Blog from Ellie McNeil
10th October is World Homeless Day, homelessness and what happens to the people living through and with it has been at the heart of the work of YMCA Liverpool & Sefton since our very beginning in 1846. Today, our CEO Ellie McNeil shares a reflective blog with you, read more below:
Today is World Homeless Day. A day to think and reflect on what it means to be homeless and what we can do to work towards ending homelessness. We can quite quickly become desensitised at seeing people homeless on the streets, we don’t always know what to do for the best and it can feel uncomfortable seeing someone in such a desperate position. Being ignored can compound someone’s feelings of being rejected from society so where you can, say hello. Don’t feel obliged to give money, food is always a good option and at our Leeds Street service we can assess people 24/7 365 days a year. People do not need money to come inside in Liverpool. They do not need to pay for a night shelter and food and a warm drink can be provided during their assessment.
We are often asked why there are so many people sleeping rough or begging on the streets of Liverpool, homelessness is incredibly complex and is not solved by simply giving someone a home. Once someone has a safe place to rest their head, the work can begin to explore what led to someone to becoming homeless. Homelessness is a symptom of a number of other issues including mental health, limited social capital, substance misuse, poor physical health, poverty, low self efficacy, the list goes on. We must support people to build up their capital personally, socially and within their communities so they have a real chance of moving forward from homelessness for good. At YMCA Liverpool and Sefton we work to ensure we can support the needs of the whole person and work closely with a range of fantastic partners to support us in doing this. Genuine psychologically informed support is key to enabling us to empower people to begin their journey out of homelessness and into a positive future.
Today, on World Homeless Day, join with us by keeping hope for all those who are homeless across the world and show kindness to those on the streets in our cities and towns.