homeless at Christmas

What’s it like to be Homeless at Christmas?

For most of us, Christmas is a time for celebrating, for family, for mountains of food and the exchanging of gifts.  For the homeless at Christmas, things are often very different.  The homeless are often ostracized from family and friends and just the thought of Christmas may bring up not so happy memories of Christmas’ past.  For them, there is no home where they can go to feel safe and loved, no great Christmas lunch feasts and no Christmas cheer.

Working with the homeless and some of the most needy and vulnerable people in our society, homeless shelters like Sheltered by Grace offer much more than just a roof over a homeless person’s head.  Helping the homeless means working with people to deal with some of the unforseen consequences of living on the streets such as: the mental health and physical well being of a homeless person, perhaps helping them to deal with alcoholism or drug misuse and most importantly, offering the encouragement and support to help them to transform their lives and feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Hands of different generations saving coinsFor Sheltered by Grace, we try to make Christmas a time of support and fun for our clients.  An occasion they will remember and look back fondly on.  A time for us to make them feel loved, give them gifts, sing carols and enjoy a special Christmas feast.

Helping the homeless, particularly at Christmas can be something that you can do either as an individual or as a family to spread some Christmas cheer to others.  Volunteering time to making Christmas a special day for people who are homeless or donating gifts or food to your local homeless shelter this Christmas is possibly the most meaningful gift you can give this festive season. Your blessing will be felt by people who would otherwise not have the opportunity to enjoy the festive season, and by volunteering in person you will be showing not only that some people really do care, but also helping to bring back the true spirit of Christmas to those who need to feel it the most.

There are many ways that you can help the homeless this Christmas.  Of course, there is always the option of donating money to your local homeless shelter that provides supported accommodation and does a wonderful job of providing safe and secure accommodation, food and utilities, and are also well prepared to help deal with the mental and physical health of someone who is lost and spends their time wondering what their life is worth.  Shelters like Sheltered by Grace helps to transform lives, and strives to demonstrate to our clients that everyone has a place in society and that they are worthy and there is hope for them and their future.

One of the greatest ways that you can help Sheltered by Grace is by donating $50 a month on a regular basis so that your gift keeps giving all year round.  All donations over $1 are tax deductible and any amount you can afford to give regularly will help us in our mission to really transform homelessness.  Simply go to our donations page and register on Paypal.

Whilst donating is extremely important and greatly received at this time of year, another way to help the homeless is to be involved in volunteering your time.  This may involve being a part of the Christmas Day celebrations at local homeless shelters and getting alongside and talking with those who are less fortunate than yourself.  People who work at Sheltered by Grace are mainly volunteers like yourself, and we really appreciated the efforts of all of our volunteers and the time that they give to get alongside the people who need help and letting them see that anything is possibly and that they too can transform their lives.

Thank you God Bless youIf you can spare some time to get involved this Christmas and make a difference in the life of somebody who needs it, please just jump on our website, and let us know how you might be able to assist over the festive season.  We have a couple of different Christmas festivities planned leading up to Christmas that you may be able to volunteer for or just come along and celebrate with us.  We have a movie night planned with caroling and perhaps even a visit from SANTA!  Come along and help us celebrate.  Keep an eye on our website and our Facebook page for the date and time.

Keep the homeless in mind at Christmas, and if you can help out by volunteering time or donating money or a gift, please jump on our website and let us know how you can help, and don’t forget, if you can afford $50 a month, you can really partner with us to Transform Homelessness in Australia!

Have a blessed Christmas!

For more information about homelessness, your local homeless shelter and how you can help the Homeless at Christmas, visit www.sbg.org.au

About the Author Lisa Loakes