With the festive season now upon us, we’ve rounded up five ways in which you can help someone affected by homelessness.

Signpost
The colder months can be a really tough time for rough sleepers. If you do have concerns for an individual’s wellbeing, there are several services you can get in touch with. Firstly, HHCP has two outreach numbers: 07960 016762 and 07955 466822. Meanwhile, nationwide charity Streetlink can assist with putting people in contact with relevant services. Lastly, Hull-based charity Emmaus has a wonderful outreach programme. www.emmaus.org.uk www.streetlink.org.uk

Say hello
A quick hello and making conversation with someone could really brighten their day. We’re not saying that it will solve their situation, but it goes a long way to combat isolation and spread the Christmas cheer. Whilst this time of year can be a time to catch up and celebrate with loved ones, for some it can be a very lonely period. So be sure to smile and wish someone the best during the festive season.

Donate
Of course, donating money or physical items can go a long way to help those in need at Christmastime. This year we are running a campaign to ensure that families and children affected by homelessness enjoy Christmas. We’re currently collecting any unwanted gifts and encouraging our supporters to perhaps pop an additional gift or selection box in their baskets to donate to a family in a shelter or temporary accommodation.

Volunteer
We’re also searching for more volunteers at this busy time of year. If you are interested in donating your days or even the odd afternoon to HHCP, please get in touch via info@hullhomeless.co.uk. We understand that money can be tight during these months, so if you don't have the cash to spare, volunteering is the ideal way to still help someone have a merry Christmas.

Give them something warm to eat or drink
Whilst we believe that it is an entirely personal choice whether or not to give money directly to rough sleepers, money and food can really help a person through the night during the cold months. Instead of just dishing out your change, perhaps open up a conversation with the person and see what they may need from a nearby shop. It could be something hot to drink, a blanket or essential sanitary products. By engaging in dialogue, you can also help to break the cycle of isolation.