A Cold Winter’s Post

It’s January, and it’s cold. And when I’m cold, you know that it really is freezing. I was walking to the station this morning, and saw a thin skin of ice forming on the river that I have to cross. I’ve had to have a hot water bottle the past few nights just to get warm enough to fall asleep.

I can’t imagine how unbearable it must be for people who have to sleep outside.

I work in Oxford, a city that has a huge number of people living on the streets, who have recently suffered immensely in the cold weather (this Change petition gives the full details). I want to help as much as I can, so I’ve been looking up resources that will help the homeless population in Oxford (and nationwide), and wanted to share them here.

Crisis Skylight Oxford, a branch of Crisis UK, does fantastic work in helping people find places to live and develop employment skills.

The Porch provides support, food, clothes, and training.

In my new home town, there’s Banbury Young Homelessness Project, which provides support, including academic and emotional support, to young people facing homelessness.

There’s a guide to other resources for homeless people in Oxford and Oxfordshire at this Daily Info page.

Nationally, Shelter does amazing work across the board for homeless people, while Centrepoint focuses on helping homeless and at risk young people.

This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list, or a recommendation for any charities over others – just a starting point for anyone who wants to do something to help people in hugely difficult situations.

I’m going to finish this blog by moving away from the charity theme, and sharing a brilliant video featuring Neo, a singer-songwriter who is homeless and based in Oxford, and other members of Oxford’s homeless community. This video demonstrates how important it is to listen to any marginalised community, particularly when offering support – and it features some of Neo’s brilliant songs.

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About Alice Nuttall

Alice Nuttall is a caffeine-guzzling knitter who divides her time between Oxford and the various worlds in her head. She is the author of a YA fantasy novel, Spider Circus, and three webcomics, Footloose, Cherry, and Black Market Magic, as well as several short stories.
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