I can’t tell you how thankful we are at COTS for the help and support we receive from people like you.
All of the backing from our supporters and donors over the past few months has made a massive difference to us as we encounter increasingly vulnerable people. We’ve found short-term accommodation for people living on the street, especially when housing services are closed over the weekend. We’ve started developing children’s mental health access, a service that we predict will be in great need over the coming months. We’ve begun to address pension poverty by providing food, gas, electricity and travel – while continuing to evolve our abstinence recovery programme. We deeply appreciate you all, the work you allow us to do and the ways you support our COTS’ community.
We’re experiencing challenging times right now, as we’ve no doubt you will have seen on the news. There are people in work poverty, and more pensioners and retired people are entering poverty for the first time. Children are experiencing a lack of food, leading to malnutrition and eating disorders and severely impacting their mental health. We see people heading to work who can’t afford to travel by car, bus or train – walking seven miles there and back – exhausted. Some need to access doctors and hospital appointments but can’t afford the transport to get there.
“We’re already meeting children who sleep on the streets with their parents, but the time will soon come when they’re out on their own – just like in Dickensian times.”
Now is the time for a coalition of common sense and a political agenda to provide for the basic needs of the people – because the struggles we’re seeing predict a bleak future. We’re already meeting children who sleep on the streets with their parents, but the time will soon come when they’re out on their own – just like in Dickensian times. There will be no affordable housing, social housing, fewer beds. To solve this crisis, there will be a dispersion of the poor, as they’re moved from town to town, accessing temporary housing that moves them away from the support networks and communities they rely on.
All the same, we’ll keep doing our best. Recently we’ve had a couple of positive stories that have given us hope during an otherwise dark time. We have a person coming to COTS in an electric wheelchair after sleeping on the streets and at the railway station. We were able to provide them with short-term accommodation in a hotel for the weekend, thanks to generous support from our donors. They currently remain on the street due to a lack of beds in the area but can come into COTS to eat, warm up, shower, and access our NHS clinic – giving them dignity and improving their quality of life.
We’ve also recently been joined by an 81-year-old man who has been sleeping on the street. He’s never been homeless before and has really struggled with his mental health, making several suicide attempts. Since engaging with COTS, we’ve been able to move him into temporary accommodation with a plan to help him return to his hometown.
We’re continuing to support people during a politically turbulent time, where they’re not being given the support they need from the government and continue to be plunged into poverty. Every single one of them deserves better.
We’re right here if you need us, as always.