It’ll be lonely this Christmas

Having volunteered to help homeless people at Christmas, it was heart-warming to read that London’s Euston station will be turned into a homeless shelter on Christmas Day.

Help the homeless

Well done St Mungos, the homeless charity behind the initiative, and Network Rail for allowing the station to be used to serve food and provide a ‘roof’ for the night for 200 rough sleepers.

St Mungos, along with organisations like Crisis and the Salvation Army, do great work making sure that homeless and lonely and vulnerable people are supported all year round, and it’s even more important at Christmas, which can be a particularly lonely time for those of us not lucky enough to have a warm bed to sleep in, and people around us, every night.

Unfortunately, Euston station is only empty for one day of the year, so I wonder whether we should be looking at other buildings that are empty to see if they could be used to help the homeless at other times of the year.

If you walk down most High Streets in the UK these days, there will be several large buildings that have remained unoccupied for a number of years, and given the current economic climate and move away from high street shopping, it’s unlikely this will change.

I appreciate there would be many issues to overcome to enable this to happen, such as health and safety and volunteers etc, but it could be done if everyone worked together.

It’s great that things happen at Christmas but we mustn’t forget about the rest of the year.

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