Aaron – a London volunteer
In 2008, I was hit by the recession and failed to keep my business afloat. Trying to appeal to an unsympathetic banking system to extend a loan, left me from owning my own house to living in my car. It has been said that most people are just 2 monthly pay cheques away from being homeless themselves.
Despite this situation which may befall almost anyone, it is good to know that small organisations like One Big Family are here to support the homeless and vulnerable. So many charities have become corporations as most of their money goes into the overheads of sustaining a lavish head office. Whereas One-Big-Family is an organisation that is hands on and physically involved. The physical aspect is wheeling trolleys laden with flasks of water to dispense tea, coffee or hot soup.
Another trolley contains toiletries and essential clothing. As a volunteer with this group, we physically walk the streets to find those in need of a hot cup of tea, something to eat, a warm blanket or a chat. It is a humbling experience and helps to bring to light that the precarious situation of homelessness can happen to almost anyone. I have found that the personal touch that One-Big-Family supplies is vastly different to many other groups that see the homeless as a numbered reference service-user, able to be identified for their funding purposes. That is why I have been privileged to be involved with One-Big-Family because their approach is to treat all that we come into contact with as a family member and support them with a non-judgmental approach.