Havering homeless charity gets a helping hand from the Olympic and Paralympic Games

A Havering homeless charity has been given a massive boost thanks to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Hope 4 Havering Night Shelter has received hundreds of items that were used during the London 2012 Games.

Ken Gannon, special advisor at the charity said: “The charity is self funded and it is all run by volunteers so everything that is donated to us really makes a big difference to lots of homeless people.”

The donations include bedding, crockery and kitchen utensils that were used by 3,000 officials and journalists during the Games.

The items will be used to kit out new flats for people that were previously living on the streets.

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Some of the goods have also been stored so that they can be used to furnish other flats in the future.

Ken said: “A lot of people think that homelessness is not a big problem in Havering, but there are problems with the way some organisations define homelessness.

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“Its heartbreaking when you see people in their 60s just sleeping on the streets because they could be your parents or other members of your family.”

The charity, which works by opening a church every night as a homeless shelter originally started last November to help to get homeless people off of the streets for the winter, but the volunteers have decided to make it a long term thing because of the demand.

Since opening its doors last November, 118 people have come to them asking for help and over a third of them have now been housed.

Ken says that they have also seen an increase in people asking for help since the drop in temperature over the last few weeks.

The charity is also hoping to convert empty flats in North Street, ROmford into more permanent homes for homeless people.

He said: “A lot of people would actually prefer to die on the streets than to come and ask for help.

“Homelessness is a big problem but if you ask most people they would just say that there are a few people.”

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