This Winter, approximately 75% of young homeless people are unable to purchase a nutritious meal. In response, a group of ex–Sunderland players and local businesses have joined forces with Oasis Community Housing, an organization devoted to helping the homeless.
Together, they are providing more than 60 Christmas dinners at their Gateshead and Sunderland drop–in centers for those living on the streets.
This past year, Oasis Community Housing’s two drop-ins in Sunderland and Gateshead have helped men and women who are rough sleeping more than 4,600 times. Carolyn Wood, the charity’s Director of Programmes, explains:
“This year, we’ve seen increasing numbers of people coming through our doors for help. People who come to our drop-ins often refer to us as ‘family’ and coming together to share love and laughter – as well as opening doors to those in need – it’s what Christmas is all about. So, we’re hoping these festive few hours at our drop-in, in addition to our usual support services, will help spread Christmas cheer and create some special memories.”
The two-course Christmas dinners have been made possible thanks to generous support from Newcastle law firm Muckle LLP and Sunderland-based lawyers Richard Reed Solicitors, Gentoo Group and Durham Foods as well. The more than 60 guests, mostly rough sleepers or those in housing crisis, also received wrapped gifts including Greggs food vouchers, selection boxes and plenty of Christmas cheer.
Oasis Community Housing will be trying to give individuals and families in its supported housing projects, based across North East England and South London, Christmases to remember as well; with gifts and Christmas hampers, many kindly provided by the charity’s supporters, Cash for Kids and Feeding Families.
To find out more about Oasis Community Housing, or help someone facing homelessness this Christmas, please visit www.givingahome.org.uk