How to help people affected by homelessness this Christmas

Glasgow is a generous and caring city, never more so than at this time of year. Here’s a handy list of what does and doesn’t help. Please note the list of items we accept.

Who we help

Most of our guests are male and aged under 50. The majority have some form of accommodation – whether it’s a hostel, a friend’s sofa or a temporary flat. Creating a sense of community and belonging can be invaluable.

Some may be sleeping rough – particularly those we meet on street outreach. We encourage them to use the Glasgow Winter Night Shelter. And from here they can be helped to access appropriate accommodation.

Here are four simple ways you can make a real difference to people who are affected by homelessness this Christmas.

How you can help 

1. Make a donation

For those who don’t have families to celebrate with, the Christmas dinner we provide can be their only Christmas celebration.

For just £8 you can provide a delicious 3-course Christmas dinner with all the trimmings – sprouts included!

Not only is it a delicious dinner – it’s a chance for our guests to have fun and feel part of our mission family. And as we share food together we can help connect our guests to our year-round work which can help them improve their situations and move forwards with their lives. 

> Find out more in our Christmas appeal

2. Take the time to talk

As you walk down the street, make eye contact and say hello to people who are begging or sleeping rough. It might not seem like much, but it can make a big difference to someone who has been ignored all day.

You could give out our How you can help cards to connect them to our day centre.

3. Apply to become a regular volunteer

We have an army of amazing volunteers who regularly give up their time throughout the year to make a difference in the lives of our guests. Our work centres around relationships, and our regular volunteers are able to get to know our guests and build relationships with them.

There’s a process for all potential volunteers to go through, which includes filling out an application form, an informal interview and taking up references. All of this means we can’t accept one-off volunteers over Christmas.

> Find out more about volunteering

4. Pray for men and women affected by homelessness and poverty

Prayer makes all the difference. Please be praying for our guests over the Christmas holidays. Maybe you could pray every time you open your advent calendar or as you decorate your tree. We really appreciate prayer, and regularly update our website with our latest prayer news.

> Pray for people affected by homelessness and poverty

What we’re unable to accept

Hats, scarves and gloves: We’re very grateful for people’s generosity and already have all of the hats, scarves and gloves which we will need for this winter.

Toiletries: Again, thanks to people’s generosity, we have enough toiletries to see us through to the spring.

Clothes: We have very limited storage space and so can’t take in clothes. If any of our guests need clothes, we can take them shopping to buy new clothes and for our guests to choose what they need. If you would like to help with this, you could buy vouchers for high street shops which we can use when we go shopping with our guests.

Food: Thanks to people’s generosity, our food store is fully stocked for now.

Toys: We have received all the toys that we need for our Child and Family Centre.

Shoe boxes/handbags/Christmas stockings: We’re not able to accept shoe boxes filled with items. 

If you would like to donate any items to us, we would love to hear from you in the spring when our stocks start to dip. Items we’re likely to need later in the year are tea, coffee, sugar, diluting juice and basic toiletries. Please contact us in the spring to check.


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