Today Aileen and I went out to town to give out the many donations we had been given. In three trolleys we had one trolley full of mens t-shirts and jumpers and one pair of size 10 trainers. One trolley had orange juice, water, jacket potatoes with cheese and butter, apples, dog food, plastic cups and knives and forks and cups. The last trolley had 18 water, crisps, cakes, dog food, mobile phones, plastic cutlery and we also had a cool box with Spaghetti Bolognese and finally Laura had some crispy donuts which I found out they are not called krusty donuts. I hope I have not forgotten anything.
The sun was shining and we were ready for a busy day.
It is hard to describe the feeling that I get when we go out and help these guys on the streets or in a position that they have to be out on the streets begging. I am so happy to see them each that way we know they have not died or got arrested. Both Aileen and me worry about them maybe a little too much but that is our nature and why should we change. I know I have been told not to get too emotionally involved but it is too late I was involved the day I set up the group.
Anyway back to today, we were able to feed everyone we met and it is always great when we go home with empty trollies and knowing that no one went hungry today. There is so much more that our guys need but we just can not carry it all. We need bigger trolleys preferably insulated one and more people to come out with us.
It was great to see Jason, Craig, Andy, Simon and Blue (dog), David, Lee, Luke to name just a few but we did not see Alex and Geordie. Which was a worry as last week both were vulnerable. I hope they are okay and safe. We met a new lady today sat in the alleyway next to John Lewis. Her name is Sam and she has been on the streets for two weeks and has been to CIRDIC and also to Launchpad and St Mungos. I am hoping she will not be on the streets for too long.
The last two weeks have been especially good because we were able to stop and chat to our guys, which is great because it takes time for them to trust us and feel that we do not have an agenda and what we are doing comes from our heart. The majority are either alcoholics or addicted to some drug and also have mental health issues, which makes them vulnerable in my eyes, but unfortunately if your not from reading and have no ties to Reading like family then they can not get housed. IT IS NOT RIGHT AND IT MAKES ME ANGRY AND UPSET!!!!!!!!!!
I always feel happy that I have been able to help someone who needs help but at the same time at the end of the day I just want to cry because I am here in my lounge with a beautiful son and a sofa kitchen bath and bed and I have had to leave people in town on the streets. It hurts my heart to know I have not done anything to really help them get off the streets. I know I do not have the skills YET but I hope to. Last week helping Danny fill out his paperwork was rewarding but this week knowing Andy is unwell and losing weight and has mental health issues is on the cold dark streets makes me want to scream and punch someone. Do not worry I do not get that physically aggressive anymore I just feel like in inside my gut, deep down lurking twisted anger that I am unable to do more.
It is hard to describe the feeling of uselessness I feel , the tears I cry, the sadness and the desperateness especially after such a rewarding day. There is so much I want to do and it takes time, time that sometimes we do not have and the urgency to help these amazing people, YES I SAID AMAZING. That is because when you take the time to sit and talk to them, they are amazing and each person has a story to tell just like you and me.