Coronavirus has swept the country meaning uncertain job security, panic buying and social distancing. Times are tough for many across the UK and the most vulnerable amongst us are more in need than ever before. This is particularly true of the residents and staff at St Anne’s Accommodation.
For over 40 years, we have played a vital role in caring for Birmingham’s homeless, providing a bed, food and support for homeless men aged over 25, a group often overlooked and side-lined. Thanks to the work of our dedicated team and help from supporters, our residents have a place where they can achieve a degree of stability, with many finding new homes and starting new lives.
One of the most important aspects of St Anne’s is that we let residents keep their dogs on site – we are one of only a couple of hostels in the West Midlands that does this.
But with us and many other charities heavily relying on donations, the Coronavirus has made providing services much more difficult. Because of the rise in panic buying and hoarding behaviours, as well as Government advice on social distancing, there has been a decrease in donations of food, healthcare products and other items. We have also had to close all common areas, meaning residents are largely only able to access their bedrooms.
This is creating a lonely environment for a lot of men who are in desperate situations. Therefore, we are appealing for donations to help them get through this tough time. There are a few items we need in particular:
- Food that is in its original packaging (no homemade items and no food that has been opened). We are trying to make up beverage kits to keep the residents hydrated. Items we need are juice, coffee, Tea bags, long life milk, sugar. These would make a difference to someone who is self-isolating with very little money.
- Healthcare products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo and body wash. We are particularly in need of hand soap and hand sanitiser.
- Items for entertainment such as magazines and puzzle books. Small TV’s (under 30”) or radios are greatly appreciated as we are currently unable to provide such items in all the rooms in the hostel.
As the coronavirus spreads, the homeless are perhaps the most vulnerable as they don’t have anywhere safe to go. Charities like St Anne’s are providing essential services to keep these people safe but we can only continue to do so with the kindness of the general public. Our doors are still open for deliveries of donations and you can also donate money online.