Tag Archives: Helping Homeless in Reading

Together with Facebook

People are always moaning about Facebook. It always makes me want to have a go or say my peace, but I don’t.

Tonight showed the power of Facebook.

For me reading families, friends or people’s statuses over the last few weeks has restored my faith in human nature. I am a daily face booker and I am glad to say that I am. I love to read what is going on for people. How they feel, knowing they are happy or sad. having a family day out or a holiday. Which does make me feel just a tincey bit jealous, not really.  Ok now I sound like a stalker.

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18 months ago I started Piaroo’s Wish Helping the Homeless and Vulnerable in Reading. I was amazed at the response in help from the people of Reading.  Ove the months are numbers have grown to over 1700 members WOW.

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It shocks me to think that 1700 people in Reading help the homeless and Vulnerable.

The Way Ministry help the homeless and vulnerable in Reading.  The Ark Project help the homeless of Reading. The Churches of Reading help the homeless and vulnerable and needy.  As well as other organisations such as Readifood, Launchpad, St Mungos, CIRDIC, Bridge and so many other schemes running all over Reading.

BUT WHERE IS THE GOVERNMENT IN ALL OF THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????????

Good question and the answer from me is, I do not know.

What I do know is, that, since its conception we have helped untold homeless people in Reading with their needs as well as the vulnerable We have provided and still provide daily help to those who are ready.

That’s what Facebook is about. Coming together as one. Tonight’s ONE LOVE MANCHESTER concert was amazing. The statuses on Facebook for me have been soothing and calming and to know I was not alone in watching the concert at home. People from all different backgrounds, ages, sexes, religions, towns and cities together watching and supporting Manchester as well as London.  Our love and support going out to the victims of these senseless attacks.

I wonder what I would do with Facebook and I Know that Piaroo’s Wish Helping the Homeless and Vulnerable in Reading would not be as good as it is. I know that I would still be helping people but not as much as we actually do.

Links

Piaroo’s Wish Helping the Homeless and Vulnerable in Reading https://www.facebook.com/groups/868812933237102/

The Way Ministry                                                                                        https://www.facebook.com/The-Way-Ministry-Reading-1488460588043125/

The Ark Project                                                   https://www.facebook.com/TheArkProjectReading/?ref=br_rs

 

 

 

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Homeless Our Appeal

It amazes me how someone who has nothing actually has everything and how people who have everything actually have nothing. Am I the only person who can see that?

I don’t have much but the love that surrounds me is more than the wealthiest person on Gods green earth.

I am lucky to have a home and a family. Many on the streets have nothing but the clothes they are wearing. Every week we try to do our best to help with food, clothing, toiletries, befriending and signposting, however it is not enough. Every week we also hand out sleeping bags, tents and gorund mats but we never have enough.

It breaks my heart to know that even though we are doing our best that we still have to turn people away because we do not have enough food or toiletries or tents etc. We have a group called Piaroo’s Wish Helping the Homeless and Vulnerable in Reading.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/868812933237102/

 

 

AFTERMATH

Yesterday a dear friend who I have known for many years wrote something quite innocent on my wall regarding Piaroo’s Wish Helping the Homeless and Vulnerable in Reading. It was very helpful which I established after a few hours.

THIS IS WHAT SHE WROTE

Satty…. You need to start taking a register/tally from your drop off in town, especially…

Some folks are making valid points about certain people not being homeless, or no longer vulnerable…
Yeah, you get people who need help as a one off, or a couple of times until they get back on their feet, like I needed it once…
But there are folks who don’t need it, or who are taking more than they need instead of doing their own shopping… Sadly…
I’m ok now, I can forward help on now….
But you need to keep a tally, because some of those folks either, no longer need it and are taking advantage, or are receiving from a food-bank or a church regularly, or even their own families…
I will PM you….                     img_4458

Now for me this is what I read……………

Satty your not doing it right. You need to do this because people are talking behind your back saying that you are a easy target and people you are helping do not need what you are offering.                                                                                                                                                 People are saying that the people you are helping are taking the Michael out of you they are not homeless and they are already getting help from other places. They only need your help once and after that they do not need your help because they are fine and on their feet.  People are taking items from you instead of using the benefit money that they are receiving to buy their own shopping.

You helped me once and that was all I needed and that I am fine now and I didn’t take the Michael out of you. I only asked for what I needed once.

You need o do your job properly because you are doing it wrong. The people you help are not people that need your help. You are doing your job wrong. You need to do a tally because people are taking the Michael out of you. You need to do your job properly. Your wasting your time and everything you have done over the last fifteen months has been a joke and people are laughing behind your back because your useless and a waste of space.

PEOPLE ARE TALKING BEHIND YOUR BACK SAYING YOU ARE USELESS AND NOT NEEDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHY ARE YOU WASTING EVERYONES TIME BY PRETENDING TO HELP PEOPLE THAT DO NOT NEED YOU IN THEIR LIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now as you can see what she wrote was nothing to what I actually read. This is what happens to me when I feel like I am being criticised or told I’m not doing a good job. At first when I read it I went into complete paranoia and on the defence so I asked politely for people on the group page to please read what my friend had written.                                    Funnily enough they all came back and said that what she had written was supportive genuine kind and loving. That she was making valid points and that I should take what she had written to be exactly what is was. If only my mind and brain would listen to everyone’s lovely kind words of wisdom.

I did apologise to my friend on several occasions saying that I had read what she had written completely wrong and that I was in the wrong and that I know she means well and is helpful. Also that she was very clever.

Now even though I totally believed what I had written and agreed that I was wrong and that she was right my head was saying something completely different. My paranoia had taken over and I knew I was in for a rough couple of days. My mental health issues were not going to let this lie. Deep within my mind all my old issues of being told I was wrong, useless, waste of air and space, obsolete and insignificant took hold.                                        So what I did was go onto some facebook events and played deal or no deal and also bingo and I won because I am so competitive which makes me feel like I am someone and that I am clever. Once all that was over I read what had been written in response to my post on the group page and also on my profile. As I reread what had written I genuinely agreed with what people were saying however my inner demons were still saying the usual rubbish and immobilising my happiness.                                                                                              At night my bi polar took its toll. I had the worst nightmare about being a bad mother NOW FOR ME THAT WAS A TERRIBLE THING FOR MY MENTAL HEALTH TO TAKE AHOLD OF.                                                                                                                                                                     My nightmare had only began. I was being hunted and also being verbally abused as a mother. The Asian community or my so called relatives were saying the most nastiest comments and the men were equally or more so aggressive and where mentally abusing me. I woke up around 5am which I was not happy about because I had only gone to sleep at 2am. I woke up with an panic attack and trembling. Its now 8.22am and I’m trembling within and my head is shaky. My impulse is to pretend everything is fine and that I am okay and that there is nothing wrong with me, only thing is I know better.                                I now have to put on a mask and pretend all is okay that I have no inner turmoil, that I am totally fine, that I’m okay however its not true.

 

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CHRISTMAS DINNER FOR THOSE IN NEED

 

 

Today I went to The Way Ministry in Coley to help with their Christmas dinner for those who are homeless and in need. The event was amazing from start to finish. I saw many faces from Piaroo’s Wish Helping the Homeless and Vulnerable in Reading volunteers and people we help and some from Bridge Hall and some from The Way Ministry.

I felt truly blessed that Grace and Joe allowed me to be apart of their wonderful team. The dinner was lovely everyone left full and had a Christmas present and we also had a raffle. No one left without a gift. Its times like this that remind me how many vulnerable people we have in Reading.

Two years ago when I was in a bad place I wish I knew about the places I know about now. The likes of Bridge Hall, The Way Ministry, The Soup Run, CIRDIC and so many other organisations that help the needy. I struggled and life was very tight. We are through that now I am I so blest that I am in a position to help people and give a little back.

When we got home we took a massive food parcel and clothing to a lady in need who also helps two other families. This time of year where the majority of the world are getting ready for the one big day and overspending on food drinks and presents, decorating their trees and homes, It reminds me how delicate life can be one year your having the time of your life with family and friends and the following year you could be one of the people we help and your family and friends are nowhere to be seen.

The Giving Tree use to be a big part of my life every year I would take a card from the tree and purchase a suitable present for that card, two years ago the cards had gifts already wanted by the children but I could not afford to buy that gift. Now I give back the only way I know how. Piaroo’s Wish Helping the Homeless and Vulnerable in Reading is a big part of my life now. Every week I love what I do but then sometimes we run out of food or toiletries and that one thing that I can’t give back brings me on a downer. This Wednesday is our last normal donation donating day as the following week we will be handing out special Christmas Parcels which I can not wait for, it can’t come soon enough.

 

REWARDING AND UPSETTING

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.

 

 

 

Touched by the words Thank You

When I go out on a Wednesday to help the homeless you never know what to expect, who you will encounter and what donations you will be taking. People in Reading are very generous and that Piaroo’s Wish Helping the Homeless in Reading has a big following of warm hearted donators, who are becoming great friends. It is hard to comprehend especially when you go out and all you see is shoppers going about their business and not even acknowledging the people sat on a cold wet ground wearing layers of clothing begging.

If you get the chance to speak to someone on the streets the majority of them will tell you that all they want is a glimmer of a smile, the words hello said, just so they know they are not forgotten.

Aileen and I met at our usual meeting point the Metro Bank. The sun was shining and the day looked like it was going to be a success. It some ways it was but for me it wasn’t. We had run out of hot food and sandwiches by 4.00pm. Met Mary and didn’t have any food to give her or her son but managed some food for her partner. We went home with empty trollies which would normally be fabulous but not today.

Both Aileen and I think very similarly and when we met Craig by the train station he told us it was his birthday and was going to be 32. We asked him what he was going to do and he said that Leon was going to meet up with him. We asked him if he could have anything what would it be and his reply was a pair of trainers. As we both looked down we saw that his trainers were hanging by a thread literally. Instantly we both knew what we had to do. So we posted the issue on our Facebook page, hoping someone would reply. There was no way we were going to leave town today without getting him a pair of trainers.

We managed to get him some trainers and he was extremely delighted. Craig is one of those rare people who you just want to help with every fibre of your being. It helps that he is polite and honest and respectful.

We headed to Market Place to see if Andy was there and had a sit down so I could replenish my batteries with a glug of Lucozade, we saw Carol and asked her if she wanted a jacket potato with cheese and of course she said yes. We asked why we hadn’t seen her for a few weeks and she told us she had been unwell.  Not surprising when you consider the weather recently and staying outside begging, we it so often and we can’t do anything to help. The gentleman she was with was so thankful for the sandwich and the jacket potato they shared it made me emotional. We give so little but the gratitude they respond with can be overwhelming.  That one moment made me crumble inside I didn’t want Aileen to see me but I didn’t have a choice.

I feel so humbled when I go out and chat  to the guys. They are polite and always say thank you and if they have already eaten they say and always tell us to give it to someone else. They never ask for anything apart from the basics such as deodorant toothpaste footwear and even then we have to squeeze a reply.

I know one thing and that is anyone can become homeless, it could be you we help next week!!

 

Amazing Day Helping The Homeless

Today a lovely lady Sameena joined me to take out donations for the homeless in Reading.

I have to say it was truly amazing.  Sameena made pasta and her two boys baked cakes for the homeless. I had been given lots of clothing and toiletries and bought lots of sleeping bags too. All to be delivered weekly. The day was shining on us today and God was in my heart.

We met Sergio and I had not seen him in a few weeks. I was so happy when I did see him today. He had amazing news a lovely person had seen him on the streets and taken him in.  He currently has a room where he does not have to pay rent until he gets a job and thankfully he has a job to start this Friday in a kitchen. It was great that he has got the help he needs.

12140791_10154010422225750_5627472209358257106_nThis is Sergio with Sameena and her two lovely sons who helped out today and they did such an amazing job on the cakes.

We also met Mary a young lady and mother of a two year old son who is homeless with her partner. I am not going into detail for her safety. All I am going to say about it is, I am personally disgusted at how she has been treat by certain authorities. Mary has Celiac Disease and so does her son. People were very good at buying her food the only thing is she could not eat it so she would give it away to other homeless people. As a mother there was no way I could not give her extra help. We managed to get her help via Faith providing her with a food parcel and also with some gluten free food and nappies. This lady is amazing and she is out begging for napping and food for her son. All the time she is out begging she is not with her son and you can see it is breaking her heart. I pray that someone can give her and her family a roof over their heads.

Our cheeky chappie Charlie is also off the streets. An amazing man called Michael has put him up in a hotel brought him clothes and also helped him get a job. Charlie is another person who is so lovely but I have to say, I say that about all these guys. 12798867_10153898517970750_6073895861028286109_n

This is Charlie with Nicola. Nicola had baked cakes in February. Every time I saw him he would always say he could not wait until Nicola was baking again and coming out. He said. Nicola’s smile had made his day. I am glad we wont be seeing him on the streets anymore. It means he his safe and getting his together just like Sergio.

I am still buzzing from today and I know I am having a mania episode, especially in my head. I am doing cartwheels even though my body is shattered.

I can not thank people like Emma, Mandy, Sarah, Sameena, Lucy enough. The list is endless of all the help my friends are donating. One day it would be great to have no homeless. I know it is a pipe dream especially seeing as helping the homeless is not a priority and they are not doing as much as they should.

Organisations such as Faith, Readifood, Christian Community Action, Cirdic to name but a few are are doing what they can and they do a marvellous job.