I wasn’t quite sure what was going on last night. I was a little discombobulated.
We were hanging out with friends at The Duke of York Square – with a lot of “equipment.” The huge cardboard pieces were disconcerting. Then the hoomans started putting down blankets and sleeping bags. Why are they still smiling?And why were we still hanging around outdoors when it’s all dark?
There were a lot of activities as Team Sleeping Ruff did photo calls –But soon I got the drift – we were camping out! Mummy was in a sleeping bag – so where was my place?We were there with our friends – lined up against a “wall” Charlotte with Oggy, Lisa with Mac and Maisy, Mum and me, Belinda with Freddie, Julie with Barnaby.
Mac and Maisy changed into their PJsAnd we got into our Equafleeces.We also felt so blessed as friends came along to cheer us on – with their support, bringing us cups of teas and coffee, even warm goats milk for us pooches – and lots of treats!
It wasn’t till late in the night when everyone started to settle down … but we couldn’t switch off the lights!But tiredness got the better of us pooches and hoomans So tired that I didn’t even mind Mac and Maisy piling on top of me – I only managed a growl but too tired to moveEven Belinda stopped for some shut eye!But it was by no means a quiet night. Constant traffic, people traffic kept the hoomans awakeBut by about 5.30 this morning, everyone started to wake up and it was time to leave the square. We packed our waresAnd headed home.And where was George? He’s done the street sleeping so we let him off. He went home with Barnaby’s dad and had a cushy evening chilling out. As much as we would loved to have him with us, he is just too unpredictable. Once a dog barks, he will start barking – without knowing why. And this isn’t the time to trial him in a new situation.
May’s comment: There’s nothing heroic or daring about sleeping out in super warm sleeping bags, bundled up on thermals and fleeces, and down jackets that can withstand the Arctic cold, surrounded by friends and our dogs – barricaded inside a Chelsea square. LOL! But it sure gave us an inkling as to what the homeless have to go through every night. Except they have to find some little nook where no one will tell them to bugger off. They have to move their piles of cardboard and whatever earthly possessions they have with them. We had a good meal, put our gear in our cars and parked nearby to unload our sleeping out gear for the night.
We heard the traffic, there was no reprieve. No idea what those people are doing in the middle of the night driving around London but for the homeless on the streets, that’s their background noise and the street cleaners are their wake-up call. They could be threatened by gangs or drunks after a night out.
This was the group of that spent last night at Duke of York Square – all 350 of so. We all went home this morning at 6amfeeling more appreciative of our soft, warm beds as we took a nap, had a warm shower and went back to our lives. As part of this community, we did our part to recognise them and to create the awareness of their daily plight.
But the nights are getting longer and colder. And the rain and the snow will come. We had it mild last night. Glass Door work with local churches to provide a shelter for the homeless. They provide them with somewhere to lay their heads and some sustenance.
A few years ago I worked at Crisis on Christmas Eve, and for the first time I came face-to-face with the homeless. How often I walk past them on the streets, avoiding their eyes and no time to stop – what do I have to say to them anyway?When I looked into the faces of the homeless for the first time, I saw a person. They looked like someone’s aunt, someone’s uncle, someone’s son or daughter, someone’s relative. But there they were on their own, needing a place to shelter because they no longer have a home. We don’t know what misfortune came their way and they found themselves in their current situation.
As a community, we can only do our part in helping those less fortunate than us. And Glass Door is right on our doorstep. From the months of Oct to Feb, they work with local churches to provide shelter for the homeless. And all the funds raised go towards making this possible. Please help us help them.
To donate, here’s the link – www.glassdoor.org.uk/fundraisers/sleeping-ruff