World Homeless Day Blog
The 10th of October 2020 will mark a whole decade since the inauguration of World Homeless Day and yet for those who are amongst the most vulnerable in our societies, the need for community support has never been greater.
As countries across the world continue the fight against Covid-19, already stretched community services and charities have been facing unprecedented staff and funding shortages. Add to this the restrictions imposed on housing associations, an exponential increase in unemployment, increases in domestic violence, and lock-down restrictions that prevent a welcome couch being available for a friend in need, and it’s not hard to see why the homelessness crisis is rapidly worsening.
What Exactly Is World Homeless Day?
World Homeless Day emerged as a result of a shared desire for international unification in the fight to bring an end to homelessness across the globe; and now serves to unite thousands of communities, from over a hundred countries, spanning all continents (with the exception of Antartica!).
What is the purpose of World Homeless Day?
The purpose of World Homeless Day is to focus public awareness towards the needs of people experiencing homelessness at the local level whilst encouraging members of the community to actively participate in responding to homelessness via:
- Working to engage and educate members of local communities as to the reality of the difficulties faced by homeless persons in their local areas
- Raising funds to support local homeless charities and associated support services
- Celebrating existing community support services for homeless people
How can I get Involved?
There are many ways to actively participate in World Homeless Day, below we have highlighted a small number of these to get your creative juices flowing:
- Donate – There are many homeless support charities as well as StreetVet working at a local level throughout the UK with many actively seeking donations of used clothes/books/toys etc for charity stores, whilst others may have active ‘Wish Lists’ for you to purchase and donate specific items required locally. To purchase items for our cities, please search for StreetVet on Amazon Wishlists. If you would like to donate, you can do so here: https://www.streetvet.co.uk/donate-now/
- Educate – Join charity outreach projects that aim to spread awareness of homeless people’s needs locally, invite guest speakers to present at workplaces, schools, member clubs etc (can be done remotely via numerous digital platforms)
- Volunteer – The majority of homeless charities and support services are entirely dependent on an army of volunteers to survive, and thus there is often no greater gift you can give than ‘the gift of time’. Given the current Covid-19 situation you may, understandably, be concerned about volunteering in a public-facing capacity but there also are many home-based volunteering activities that you can get involved in; such as administrative-duties or making items for fundraising events/charity shops (great for all you knitters, crochet experts, and arts and crafts gurus out there!) If you’re a Vet or Registered Veterinary Nurse, you can volunteer with us, find out more here: https://www.streetvet.co.uk/how-to-volunteer/
- Host a fund-raising event – Why not organise an online quiz night with friends and family or complete a sponsored walk/run (you can even do this up and down your own hallway or stairs if you are unable to leave the house). The only limits are your own imagination!
- Get the word out! – Use your social media platforms to spread the message of World Homeless Day, promote local fundraising events, share educational articles, highlight local issues in the media, and celebrate and support local good works. (Tweet: #WorldHomelessDay, @homelessday)
Covid-19 has brought an unprecedented set of challenges for those working with homeless people, and whilst they continue to support the needs of society’s most vulnerable against surmounting odds, they desperately need all of the help and support that communities are able to offer. So we invite you to embrace World Homelessness Day this October 10th and become part of a global initiative working to end the homeless crisis.