Dalston charity for the homeless made homeless itself
PUBLISHED: 18:09 07 December 2010
Charity's founder appeals for help during the cold winter months so he can continue feeding the homeless
A Dalston charity that feeds the homeless has been made homeless itself.
Rhythms of Life International which provides food, support and advice to homeless and vulnerable people, was based in Crossways until it had to move because its rent doubled.
The charity was helping up to 50 people a day; but since losing the premises, its founder Andrew Faris said the number of people they can help has fallen – although though the need remains.
Andrew Faris who set up the charity after living on the streets himself, is still offering food and tea out of a van parked in Birkbeck Road every night apart from Sunday, from which it’s impossible to make them a warm drink.
“It’s extremely cold and it’s frightening to be honest how cold it is and how people are surviving you can’t imagine,” said Mr Faris.
“Most of them are sleeping on the streets still,
“If anyone could offer us an empty building, we could just take it for the winter months,” he added.
“At least then we could serve up in a building instead of on the streets.
“We knew a rent increase may be coming but we didn’t know it would be over the winter months.”
Faris has witnessed a significant increase in homeless people in recent months since the recession led to companies closing and unemployment rising.
He tries to do what he can to provide them with a hot meal and a place to socialise; ideally this would be somewhere that is sheltered from the elements.
BBC Gardener’s World presenter, Joe Swift, who lives in Stoke Newington helped publicise the charity’s plight in July, when he helped serve out food himself.
Now that the cold weather is here, they would welcome donations of blankets or bedding.
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