WHO WE ARE
Under the inspiration and guidance of Pema Wangyal Rinpoche, Honorary President of C.A.S.A. in Portugal, Maitrikara has started a programme to help homeless people in Brighton & Hove in a way that would be practical and helpful. We contacted the various organisations in Brighton & Hove who work with homeless people to ask their advice on the best way forward. We spoke with First Base, Antifreeze, and The Clock Tower Sanctuary. They were all very keen to advise us on how we could really help and also to point out the difficulties that could occur. If you would like to find out more about the above organisations please look at their individual websites.
WHAT WE HAVE DONE SO FAR
We collected warm clothes from many of our members and their friends and family. We donated about 40 bags of clothes to help homeless people face the winter cold.
We linked with a charitable trust who kindly agreed to donate £1000 to each of these institutions:
a) The money to First Base would be used to buy underwear and thermal underwear which obviously have to be purchased new, and also toiletries for use in the showers.
b) The money to Antifreeze was to be used for sleeping bags. This amount would supply sleeping bags for 2-3 months.
c) The money to The Clock Tower Sanctuary would be used to help in whichever way is necessary.
We visited all three places to see exactly what they do and talk with their organisers. They were all so helpful and enthusiastic about their work and very clear about what was needed with definite priorities. In all cases it was agreed that they would do the purchasing as they have good contacts and also storage places to keep the products.
We chatted to homeless people on the street to see what they felt they needed and what they receive at the moment. They too were very clear about what is already on offer and what they felt they still needed. Warm sleeping bags were a top priority and some mentioned roll mats. The latter can be obtained at First Base if wanted and sleeping bags through Antifreeze.
WHAT WE WILL DO
Make sandwiches to distribute to those who are homeless or contribute food to small groups who are already doing this. Food, in general, is well provided but we thought it would be a good way to make more personal contact and slowly discover more areas of need that might be lacking.
Towards the summer we will collect summer clothes, sun creams, sunglasses and other items needed for a more comfortable summer.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP?
If so, please contact Larrie Gethin on 01273 675803. Thank you.