Showing rough sleepers a little kindness this winter could be the turning point to helping them off the streets, the head of one of the UK’s leading homelessness charities has said.
Shocking images of people queuing for food support during some of the coldest weather seen in Britain for a decade has prompted many to ask charities on social media what they can do to help.
Temperatures plunged to -23C overnight into Thursday in Braemar, Aberdeenshire – the coldest temperature recorded in the UK since 1995.
Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “If people feel confident enough to go up and try and talk to someone, my first piece of advice is ask them what they need.
“If you do decide to give someone money, do it in good faith as one human being to another, and as a matter of kindness.”
Images of people queueing in the snow for food parcels from charity Kindness Homeless Street Team Glasgow earlier this week sparked an outcry on social media, with some comparing it to Eastern Europe under communist rule.
The charity has asked anyone wishing to help to donate to its GoFundMe page.
Several homeless charities are sharing a five-step plan to help keep those sleeping rough safe as the cold snap continues.
Mr Sparkes added: “The people I talk to often tell me that moment someone showed them some kindness was a real turning point for them.”