Grimsby Homeless Helpers group raise awareness of homelessness in sleep-out

Grimsby Homeless Helpers group raise awareness of homelessness in overnight sleep-out

A group of three locals spent 24 hours on the streets of Grimsby to raise awareness for homelessness.

The Grimsby Homeless Helpers group members managed to raise almost £100 during their challenge, which was spent camping outside Asda, Heron and Boots and sleeping underneath a flyover.

The fundraiser, set up by Glenn Sharpy last month, has received close to £800 in total.

The funds will be used to provide a coach trip to Hubbards Hills with all food and refreshments included for 30 local homeless people. If enough funds are left over, the group plan to purchase new sleeping bags, tents, boots and food for local homeless people.

Since October last year, the group have been helping the homeless by going out every night and providing them with food and other essentials.

Cazzy White, a member of the Grimsby Homeless Helpers group, said: “We chose to do this 24 hour sleep-out to see what it feels like to be on the streets with nothing more than a sleeping bag and blanket. Most homeless people go three or four days without eating anything, so for the real experience of homelessness, we didn’t take any food with us.

Cazzy during the sleep-out

“Homelessness is a real problem that affects more than 200,000 people in the UK alone. Most of these people suffer with mental health issues and some sadly do take drugs and alcohol. We were on the street for 24 hours and were asked three times if we wanted drugs.

“Personally, I can see how easy it is for people to fall into that hole of abuse. I don’t agree with it but when it feels like you’re alone and can’t ask for help, it’s an escape. People need to be more aware of the situation. Sometimes something as small as a “hello” makes them feel valued. There are many homeless charities in the UK and they desperately need blankets, tents, sleeping bags and toiletries. Anything that will help keep someone warm.

“I was sat outside Asda for 15 minutes and, despite being well known in the area, I got so many looks. It made me feel like I wasn’t worth the time to talk to. It showed me that people will judge based off of image alone and not a story.

“The entire experience really opened my eyes to how people are treated on the streets. Apart from a few members of the general public who asked what we were doing, the only people to talk to us were the homeless themselves. They sat with us and spoke for a good half an hour, offered us some of their own food and gave us some advice. So despite all the coverage they get for being “drug users and alcoholics” they are some of the most kind-hearted human beings on the planet.

“Many of the homeless I met have a story to tell. I will keep using my voice to fight for the ones who lost theirs to society, feeling they can’t speak because nobody will listen. I will keep fighting this battle for them,” added Cazzy.
The ongoing Grimsby Homeless Helpers fundraiser can be found here.

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