Working in Edinburgh, it is hard to not hear about Social Bite in some capacity. They are an amazing group of people on a mission to end homelessness in Scotland, working collaboratively with other organisations, through a variety of initiatives.
On December 9th, they are hosting the world's largest sleepover in Princes St Gardens, Edinburgh. Through the event they are hoping to raise the funds and stimulate the actions required to make a massive difference in the lives of Scotland's most vulnerable people and ultimately try and eradicate homelessness over a 5 year period by providing housing, rehabilitation, job opportunities and the support they need to get back on their feet.
I decided to take part, because I want to raise awareness about how much we take for granted on a daily basis. Turning the tap on to obtain clean, hot water, a roof over our heads, a warm bed, a morning coffee.
As I prepare for Sleep in The Park I have become acutely aware of the difference between my actions to voluntarily sleep outside for one night and the day to day challenges faced by those who are homeless. I have prepared the clothes I will wear; warm layers, waterproof and wind proof. I have purchased a sleeping bag, borrowed a camping mat, ensuring I am the most comfortable and warm I can be, in the situation.
However, compare that to a pregnant girl, kicked out of her home at 15, or a person who made one wrong decision which resulted in a lifetime of challenge. Vulnerable, often going through the most extreme of life’s challenges, they didn’t make preparations to be homeless. They didn’t purchase items to support a life on the streets. Imagine being 15 years old, an argument taking place resulting in you being asked to leave your home. With nowhere to go.
I signed up for the event on my own, and as the time draws nearer, I questioned my decision, feeling apprehensive and isolated. But in doing this, the recognition that homeless people didn’t find themselves on the streets, surrounded by camaraderie and position emotions, but instead facing fear, loneliness, rejection and sadness.
With only two weeks to go there is still some time to support me, and any other person taking part. Consider giving up your morning coffee for a couple of weeks or purchase one less present as we head toward Christmas, any and every donation makes a difference.
If you can please donate now! Thank you
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