This originally appeared in Humanitie, Winter 2014 edition
Helping the Homeless: The Glasgow T Run
From the moment we start to put out the tables and get the flasks out of the car the faces start to appear.
“What’s in the sandwiches love?
“What’s the soup?”
“Got any cheese and onion crisps, please?”
Within three minutes there are about 30 people buzzing around the food station we’ve set up and it’s a kind of organised chaos. There’s no pushing or shoving, however, and some folk even hang back, wailing to be offered a sandwich rather than ask for it. But within minutes most of the food is gone.
After the initial flurry of activity is over a few of the regulars hang around to chat, and maybe have a refill of tea or coffee. No one wants to talk about the referendum or the economy, or any of that nonsense – the chat is light – these people want a laugh.
And who can blame them? There are clues as to what has brought some of these folk here. The predictable signs of poverty, alcohol and drug misuse are all there to be seen, but there are also some faces that surprise you.
I’m not sure what I expected before I started helping out at the Glasgow T Run, the outreach project that offers food, hot drinks and non judgemental chat to disenfranchised and homeless people, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I probably had some preconceptions and even a few worries.
Would it be a bit intimidating? Would I have doubts about the worth of the project? Might I regret volunteering? But I knew after I completed my first shift down at Cadogan Street that I was extremely lucky to be involved in a project which is clearly providing a very important service.
It’s believed there could still be as many as 10,000 homeless people in Glasgow and so helping the 30 or so folk who turn up regularly at the T Run is only scratching the surface of the problem. But scratching the surface is better than doing nothing at all.
Image courtesy: PROGiulio Farella, Creative Commons.
Helping the Homeless: The Glasgow T Run – to get involved email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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