I will be sleeping rough on the streets of Totnes from the 12th of February until I raise £2000 for the Totnes soup kitchen and in support of Mark Hatch
Totnes has bucked the trend in terms of Rough Sleeping statistics. Whilst, nationally, homeless figures have doubled, although only a microcosm, Totnes, in recent months has seen it's rough sleeper numbers halve.
This is due, in the main, to the Totnes soup kitchen, Mark Hatch, his wife and their dedicated team. Mark Hatch has been helping the local homeless community for over 20 years. His dedication, his compassion and love for those living on our streets has never wavered.
I am attempting to raise £2,000 for the soup kitchen and to give Mark Hatch financial aid as a thankyou for his compassion and resolve in turning the lives around of Totnes homeless.
From personal experience, many homeless projects survive with large grants awarded on results of finding accommodation for the homeless and nothing else. Ticking boxes! But without further ongoing support those ticks very soon fade; those who have been found accommodation, often, without support, land back on the streets again!
Mark and his team who work on a shoestring, take a more holistic approach. The soup kitchen acts as a hub to not only provide hot food, shower facilities and a friendly ear but also access to medical care, clean clothes, drug and alcohol support and of course help with securing accommodation. But it doesn't end there. Once accommodation is secured, ongoing support and home visits continue to ensure the homeless, who may have been on the streets for many years, are assisted in coping with what is for them, a massive transition: Learning to cook, maintaining personal hygiene, getting used to being indoors estranged from friends on the streets, coping with a letter box; a letter box that delivers bills and other unwanted correspondence.. Thus ensuring the 'ticked box' stays ticked!