Street­mates’ space search

Help for the home­less

East Kilbride News - - OUR PEOPLE - Ni­cola Find­lay

A group of vol­un­teers based in East Kilbride who help the home­less through much­needed dona­tions is des­per­ately search­ing for a base.

Glas­gow Street­mates travel from the town to the city cen­tre to hand out ev­ery­thing from warm clothes and toi­letries to those sleep­ing rough or re­ly­ing on a bed in a shelter for the night.

Set up just un­der two years ago, a core group of vol­un­teers are des­per­ate for stor­age – with their own homes burst­ing at the seams with items and dona­tions from gen­er­ous busi­nesses, schools, or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als.

And they say with­out stor­age fa­cil­i­ties they will strug­gle to move for­ward and carry on their vi­tal work.

Linda Mor­ri­son, 65, from Calder­wood, said: “We are all lit­er­ally burst­ing at the seams and are in des­per­ate need of some­where to put it all. The prob­lem is we don’t have the cash to pay for ex­pen­sive stor­age so are at a bit of an im­passe.

“If there is any­one who thinks they could help in any way we would be de­lighted to hear from them.”

Linda, who works with vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple and has vol­un­teered with var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions, said there is more need than ever.

“It’s worse than it’s ever been and over the re­cent bad weather two home­less peo­ple died in Glas­gow alone and there are eas­ily more than five or six hun­dred sleep­ing rough in the city,” she said.

“It’s very easy to judge but if you ac­tu­ally go out and speak to the peo­ple sleep­ing rough it hits you that given the right cir­cum­stances it could hap­pen to any one of us and it’s not al­ways just down to drink and drugs.”

She added: “But the gen­eros­ity of peo­ple never ceases to amaze us. Over the fes­tive pe­riod alone we got 50 bags of cloth­ing and lots of re­ally heavy win­ter jack­ets.

“We don’t have room for more jack­ets and jumpers and the like but are al­ways look­ing for toi­letries and things we sim­ply don’t have the cash to buy.”

And fel­low vol­un­teer, re­tired nurse An­gela Martin, 51, from St Leonards, said: “Go­ing out and see­ing first hand the strug­gles home­less peo­ple face ev­ery day is hum­bling - even that they have to pay up to £15 a night for a shelter when they have ab­so­lutely noth­ing is just heart­break­ing.

“The feel­ing you get when you see their faces light up with some­thing as sim­ple as a cup of tea or hot drink is hard to de­scribe.”

The group would like to thank ev­ery­one who has sup­ported them in­clud­ing Tun­nocks in Ud­dingston, St Leonards Tesco, Kirk­ton­holme Nurs­ery, South Park Nurs­ery and Marks and Spencer, Costa Cof­fee and Tim Hor­tons.

To contact the group go to the Glas­gow Street­mates Face­book page or contact Linda on 07855124088.

Jam-packed Linda and An­gela from Glas­gow Street­mates are ap­peal­ing for help to get a stor­age base for all their dona­tions

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