Finding a place to sleep during the long winter months can be an anxious and stressful time for many homeless people. When you are homeless, the prospect of facing the cold of winter can fill you with dread and worry. Winter is the most difficult time of year – cold, wet weather is dangerous, leading to hypothermia and bronchial illnesses that can result in death, particularly in older and more vulnerable people.
The psychological impact of homelessness also takes its toll. Many of the causes of homelessness are traumatic in themselves – poverty, natural disasters, family crises, conflict, and political upheaval. A homeless crisis can affect not just the individual but whole families. The post-traumatic stress can be felt for months and years, leading to a spiralling sense of hopelessness and powerlessness.
Hundreds of vulnerable people, including children and the elderly, have been made homeless through no fault of their own. Displacement due to the ongoing conflict in places such as Syria, Gaza and the stateless Rohingya people, as well as natural disasters around the world, have left countless families in need of your help.
The latest floods that have hit Pakistan have affected upwards of 33 million people, leaving some of the most vulnerable members of society without a home this winter. These floods devastated over a third of the country, making it almost impossible for the people of Pakistan to get back on their feet before winter strikes.
To be homeless during the warmer months is bad enough. When the colder winter weather arrives, it can turn an already tragic story into one that is a fight for survival.
Our team works tirelessly on the ground delivering aid to those that need it most. With more and more homes being lost every day, it is an uphill battle to provide assistance and support. In many of the countries we work in, the weather is typically hot and dry, which means the cold of winter is all the more bitter. Those who have lost their homes and possessions are less likely to have the essential clothing to protect themselves from the elements.
What’s more, these vulnerable people have taken refuge in makeshift camps of semi-permanent structures built during warmer, drier weather. When winter approaches, these structures simply aren’t built to withstand colder conditions; with winter temperatures often dropping down to single figures and temperatures dropping as low as -11 degrees Celsius in Syria, the prospect of another winter exposed to the elements can be daunting and scary.
Without secure shelter, these orphans, widows, and refugee families are left to survive with the bare minimum. Unsecure shelter that doesn’t keep out the rain or snow leaves these vulnerable people out in the cold. They already struggle to get food, water, and everyday basics, leaving them hungry and cold. Inadequate shelter and a lack of warm clothing and shoes can also leave them more susceptible to sickness, which only exacerbates their struggle.
Imagine how you would manage if you and your loved ones were forced out of your home and ended up homeless, hungry and in need of help. Imagine your choices being taken away from you and being left out in the cold to fend for yourself, wondering where you were going to sleep or where your next meal was coming from.
You can help us provide aid by donating to our Winter Appeal. Our teams are working hard to provide for those most in need in India, Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan, Gaza, Albania, as well as Syrian and Rohingya refugees. We need your donations to help provide warm clothing, gloves, shoes, blankets, mattresses, heaters, fuel, sleeping bags and food to help these vulnerable homeless people survive the winter.
Helping the homeless in winter is more essential than any other time of year. With warmth, food and support this winter, your donations really can help make a difference in the lives of so many. Please support homeless people with your charity today and donate to help your brothers and sisters around the world in their moment of need.
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