I met Michael outside the Sainsburys which was his usual spot. The day before I had bought him some milk and a cheese sandwich which he had asked for. As I approached him, his face lit up with recognition. I was really surprised he remembered me. “Look! I am all clean shaven today! I am going to meet my daughter tomorrow at Coventry!”, he excitedly told me as he beamed with joy. He explained that his daughter was four years old and lived in Spain with his British parents who had retired there. “It’s nice you know, even just for day, to have one day of normalcy away from a life like this. To take the train out of London and meet her.”, he added. Indeed, I could imagine so and was immensely excited and happy for him.
There are so many homeless people, and they all have their own stories. They are all just as human as we are and share the same desires for safety, love and happiness. It might initially be difficult to approach them and start a conversation but I promise that if you do so, you will find it most fulfilling for both parties.
If you are interested to reach out to them but unsure how to, do consider joining us on our outreach sessions where we go out in teams to distribute food/hot drinks/warm clothing (check out or fb page or email us!), or volunteer at charities/ soup kitchens for the homeless where it might feel less intimidating to initiate conversation.
Written by Li Fang Teo