I'm talking to people who will hopefully be able to help her get into the right systems and a roof over her head. I'd really like to be able to get some money to her so she gets a bit of a break from the constant hardship when her baby arrives. Being able to buy some toys and clothes is something every mother should be able to do.
This is Kerry, she's 23, epileptic and 7 months pregnant, we found her huddling against a wall with just a thin blanket and was so cold she could barely speak. She was kicked out at 13 by her parents and has been sleeping on the streets ever since. I've never met anyone with such a sweet disposition in my life. When I asked her what she wanted from Tescos, the only thing she asked for was orange juice and haribo. She offered them to us before she had any. I asked her why no one has helped her and she said it was because no one has ever wanted to. All the shelters are full, no priority is given to her even though she's pregnant. I gave her my word I would help her.
Tonight we spent 4 hours giving out duvets, blankets and pillows that people had kindly donated to a tiny proportion of the homeless on the streets of London. Everyone we met had a story, all thorough unfortunate experiences in their lives and didn't ask us for anything other than the bare minimum they needed. They're all really cold and hopeless, but often offered us advice and words of wisdom over their own needs. No one asked us for money, no one even wanted to try and take all the best stuff, they just asked for what they actually needed and even then were very humbling of it. Most of them just wanted to chat. It seems they've all succumbed to their lives and are just trying to survive.
Please have a chat with your local street sleeper, find out who they are and what they need, it's probably just a cup of tea or a hug x
OK so I eventually tracked down a woman on an outreach team for the borough and Kerry is known to them. We spoke for nearly an hour, and although she couldn't comment specifically about Kerry for confidentiality reasons I believe she's saying she does have options available to her. I think Kerry is on the street trying to raise some money so maybe not being totally truthful about what is available to her. She didn't tell us she was pregnant, it was actually another homeless man who told us and she didn't ask us for money, so I believe she's genuine, just desperate. I'm going to go back to see her in a couple of days and ask her if there's anything she needs from some of the money raised. Having spoken to the lady on the phone the rest of the money will go straight to the place she is staying rather than to her as an individual as this isn't really possible, and handing her a load of money would be irresponsible. From what I can gather, she's just never really had a break, and is only able to take what's available to her through the state or charities, but doesn't really have an awful lot more hope.