If you’re in the Northeast, you are shivering right about now. It is wicked cold. Shelters open and are full to capacity on nights like these, for those without homes in which to hunker down, but there are never enough beds or floor space and some folks are, literally, left out in the cold.
Prince William recognizes this issue in the U.K., and recently spent a cold December night sleeping on a cardboard box, out on the street, to bring attention and deeper understanding to the problem of homeless youth on the streets of London and other British cities. Centrepoint is the English charity trying to solve the issue of homelessness among young people. For four decades, the organization has been battling back the ravages of involuntary outside life…unavoidable hardships for those who “sleep rough.”
William is a patron and longtime supporter of Centrepoint’s work, so this wasn’t merely a publicity stunt. Of his bitterly cold night, William said, “I cannot, after one night, even begin to imagine what it must be like to sleep rough on London’s streets night after night. Poverty, mental illness, drug and alcohol dependency and family breakdown cause people to become and then stay homeless. Centrepoint’s work – along with many other organizations’—in tackling these fundamental causes—is desperately important if we are ever to end homelessness in this country. I hope that by deepening my understanding of the issue, I can help do my bit to help the most vulnerable on our streets.”
Centrepoint has helped over 70,000 homeless young people in their long run. Is there an organization, near where you live or where you’ll travel on your next trip, that you can help? Serving at a kitchen, handing out coats or blankets, donating warm clothing and other necessities…it’s a great way to launch into the New Year.