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A bloody disgrace – the shocking ignorance that is keeping a Crawley homeless charity…homeless

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Photo: Joe Dines

April 2017, several good hearted individuals get together on the High Street and setup Giving Back Crawley. Their objective? To help those who are homeless, in temporary accommodation or who are on low income and cannot afford to feed themselves and their children.

“Something is bloody wrong with all of this.”

Fast forward a year, the charity has become so popular (a sign of just how bad it has become in the town) that they are now in an indoor location and able to provide additional items such as clothes, toiletries and shoes.

They provide snack bags and in emergency situations even sleeping bags but most and foremost they provide an environment where there is no-one judging you, just someone who actually cares.


Photo: Joe Dines

Fast forward another year, back on the streets. Without a location the charity is back to tables and shelter under a small covering outside an estate agents who try their best to help where they can. Balancing food on your lap whilst squatting on the floor is not what these people need. They need help, security and warmth.

But life like this does little to help when surrounded by drunks fresh out of the pubs and imbeciles who think it is funny to abuse someone suffering.

The why’s of the charities homelessness are not relevant, what is important is why after weeks of being back on the streets they have been unable to find a new home despite the hundreds if not thousands of hours they have tried.

Peoples instant reaction is to blame the council, why are they not helping? But when a council has nothing available, and you must remember there is only a small area within the town centre that is suitable, then what are they to do?

As anyone who wanders through the town will know there is a plethora of empty shops, offices, any one of which would be more than suitable and yet none of these landlords seem willing to help, or do they?

With agents the gatekeepers to landlords you have to ask yourself whether the landlords of these empty properties are even aware of the need for a charity to utilise their space – and this is the clincher – they are not asking for the space for free. They WILL pay!

So let’s be clear about the situation. Here is a charity looking to rent a space in the town, a place that has more than enough spaces for them, and no-one is helping. Is this ignorance of the highest order?

Photo: Joe Dines

Now there are factors you have to understand. Agents have to make money like all businesses and the only way they do that is on commission or fees once they have successfully let out a property.

The moment the word ‘charity’ and ‘homeless’ is heard you can almost imagine the rolling eyes and closure of their hearing. Yet they are still happy to allow the property for which they represent to remain empty, derelict, a money pit.

Then there is the worry about the stigma that letting out a property to a homeless charity may give to the neighbouring properties they manage. Would they be able to rent them out or would it turn people off?

“they are not asking for the space for free. They WILL pay!”

Be under no illusion, there is a problem in the town as highlighted recently with news of budgets cuts that would affect other homeless charities such as Open House.

But here is one that is not asking for money from any council, that is looking to help out and without whom would not be able to prevent situations arising that would costs thousands more from the tax payer than any rental agreement would demand. Think of the costs to the NHS and Police if someone gets hypothermia from sleeping in damp clothes in a car park in sub zero conditions as one example.

Something is bloody wrong with all of this.

In an age where image is everything here is an opportunity that is very rare. An opportunity for some bright spark to capture and to run with. An opportunity where they can help and in return get awareness, branding even advertising that any paid campaign could never get because it will capture the hearts of people, see that their is hope and a genuine care for the community.

So if you are an agent or a landlord and have something available in Crawley town centre or not too far from it then why sit around waiting and actually fill the space now, earn money from it and more importantly do what the charity is entitled, Give Back to the town.

You can find more information about Giving Back Crawley at their facebook page here.

Charity

All Crawley Co-op food stores set up as food banks for local charity

The new initiative, setup by Paul Taylor-Burr, an ambassador pioneer for Co-op and Ian WIlkins from Open House was started on the 3rd August.

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In surely a first for any town an initiative will see every Co-op across Crawley now be able to take food donations.

Food bins have been placed in each of the Co-ops where shoppers are able to leave donations for Crawley Open House.

Currently collections will be taking place every Friday but if demand grows then more frequent ones will be organised.

Paul Taylor-Burr said:

“We are looking for donations of non perishable items such as Tuna, Rice Pudding, Cereal, Tea bags, Tinned Custard, Tinned Meat, Baked Beans.

The Open house do such magnificent work and the more we can show our belief and support for what they do the better.”

There are Co-ops stores in Langley Green, Pound Hill, Tilgate, Bewbush, Maidenbower and Ifield.

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