I will be sleeping out, along with my son Tom, on Friday 18th October to raise money for the great work of the West London Day Centre (WLDC). The centre is one of the projects run by the West London Mission where I work.
For over 40 years the WLDC has been at the cutting edge of homelessness and every day they help over a 100 homeless people.
Sadly rough sleeping is going up at the moment especially in central London where WLDC is situated. According to the official figures, rough sleeping has risen by 64% over the last two years. The key reasons are the on-going recession, unemployment and the changes to the benefit system. At the same time as this rise, funding across homelessness services has been cut. Last year WLDC had their largest government grant cut from £140k to zero.
WLDC offers a warm welcome with cooked breakfast and showers available. The centre also has an in-house NHS team with a doctor and nurse, a computer resource room where people can develop skills and search for jobs and a Chaplain who is available to offer prayer and spiritual help.
Perhaps most importantly, they have a dedicated team of four full time project workers who help homeless people come off the streets for good. Last year they helped 315 people come off the streets.
Although the centre works closely with the local authority and other agencies, it receives very little government funding and is dependent on donations. So please dig deep and support this great cause! We are aiming to raise £500 – please donate via my Just Giving page and spread the word!
If you want to join us in the sleep out and help raise funds then please get in touch – for all details see the WLM website.