Homelessness is a serious issue within every community throughout the UK and even more so at Christmas because of the raising of emotion as family is the focus.
Each year for the last four years Phillip Lafferty has presented the Falcon Centre with a real Christmas tree. Phillip said “one thing I recall when I was homeless was looking through the windows of homes and shops with their Christmas trees glistening and full of decorations. The scent of a real Christmas tree always lifted my spirits and I hope that it brings the same joy to those staying at the Centre over Christmas as it did for me when I was younger”.
Many of us will have good memories of Christmas some will have sad memories. Whether memories of Christmas are good or bad as a homeless person emotions will be running high and anyone homeless at Christmas is likely to be feeling extremely vulnerable.
Voicing CSA Chair Phillip Lafferty said “I remember my time as a homeless person and walking the streets of Cardiff and being ‘invisible’ it was like living in a different world to everyone else. It was only occasionally that someone else would see me, either because they were also in my world or someone slowed down and got a glimpse of me in their world”.
The Falcon Centre in Loughborough is so aware of the meaning of Christmas for homeless people and is a Centre predominantly for young homeless men and women at Christmas and they keep their doors open for the homeless and keep them safe.
No one should wake up homeless and alone on the streets over Christmas. Falcon Support Services in addition to housing the young and vulnerable at Christmas are going to provide 3 emergency beds to those that are homeless in Leicestershire over the festive period from 5th Dec – 5th Jan. The Falcon Centre will open their doors to the most vulnerable and isolated to provide a community Christmas Lunch and a gift. They also provide a warm bed, hot meal, breakfast, support, shower facilities, use of a washing machine and a memorable Christmas.
A spokesperson for the Centre said “Homelessness is on the increase nationally, more visibly locally and is often the end result of underlying support issues. It is something that can happen to anyone at anytime in their life. Christmas can be a joyful time celebrated with family, friends and exchanging gifts. Imagine if you didn’t have that. If you were waking up cold, homeless and alone on the streets. The festive period is often the hardest time and we want to be the ones making that difference”.
The Centre will provide support and accommodation, taking people from crisis point off the streets and into safe accommodation and can wake up knowing they can celebrate Christmas at The Falcon Centre, and that someone cares. More can be found out about them here on the link. There is also a donate section if you wish to make a donation of either a gift or money.