As the cold really starts to bite this weekend spare a thought for 25 year old Jamie Potter who will be braving the icy weather and sleeping rough tonight in Hull to raise awareness for homelessness.
Jamie is from Bridlington and works for a housing trust in York, and will be sleeping rough in Hull tonight, so far having raised £255.00 for the cause.
Speaking to Jamie today he told us the reasons behind what he is doing, “There are two reasons why I’m doing this. First of all I want to try and make a difference for the many young people who find themselves on the streets, especially at this time of year, by raising funds for an organisation that does vital work for these vulnerable people. Secondly, I want to put myself in somebody else’s shoes to understand more about what it’s like to sleep without shelter and, hopefully, share these experiences.”
On facing the freezing night Jamie said, “We’ll be sleeping outdoors at the City Life Project shelter on Wright Street in Hull City Centre. There is a second group bedding down at St Aidan’s Church. To try and stave off the cold I’ll be wearing plenty of layers, including some fetching long johns, along with a sleeping bag, extra liner and a hat and scarf.
“We’re also taking plenty of cardboard to insulate from the cold floor and hopefully offer some protection from the elements. I wanted to do this with as few home comforts as possible, so to keep out any water I’ll be making use of plenty of bin bags and little else. If conditions take a dangerous turn for the worse we can move indoors, though hopefully that won’t be necessary.”
Help support Jamie by making a donation here.
While Jamie is making the choice voluntarily sleeping rough tonight, for many people there is no choice. Nationally, the latest homelessness figures, which were published in 2010, stand at 1,768, according to Homeless Link. Although the majority of these individuals do not sleep rough in the long term, these figures do demonstrate the high numbers of people without a home at any one time.
These individuals are often stigmatised, marginalised and stereotyped by society. Figures released by Homeless Link state that, of the 1,768 counted, around 33% had drug problems, 48% had alcohol problems, and 30% had mental health issues (some individuals may overlap within these categories). However, 21% had neither drink, drug or mental health problems.
Furthermore, although 32% of those had been in prison, 10% had been in care, and 6% in the armed forces. Despite there being some obvious causes for homelessness, a variety of different people become homeless for a variety of different reasons.
People are often lead to homelessness by factors such as accommodation shortages, reported by One&Other in an article relating to the Great British Property Scandal, unemployment, low incomes, relationships breakdowns, domestic violence, or the death of a partner, to name just a few. This demonstrates the point that homelessness effects all sorts, from all sort of backgrounds.
So good luck Jamie and well done from all at One&Other.