For most of us, who are not faced with homelessness, breakfast is what it is, the morning meal, breaking the fast that occurs during night-time – the longest part of each day without food. When we get up, most of us head for the kitchen to get some food in us to be ready for the day ahead. We consume proteins and carbohydrates to try and keep hunger locked up until lunch and our minds ready to spring into action at school or in work. Those who skip breakfast, for whatever reason, struggle more with energy and concentration during the morning than others, but they make that choice and hope that lunch will satisfy their need for food. http://www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/lifestyle/food/the-importance-of-breakfast.html
Now imagine you have been walking the streets all night with no place to go, reality kicks in and you remember you are homeless (we can’t truly understand unless we’ve been there, but we can try.) The last meal you had might be breakfast or lunch the day before. Your stress and anxiety levels are increased, you are low on fuel, you may have had a drink the night before to help with you deal with your situation. Your health and state of mind are clearly affected. Lack of food kicks your metabolism into action to start using your body’s reserves. This in turn kicks your stress hormones into play, on top of the stress and anxiety you’re already feeling.
Every day The Whitechapel Centre meets people coming through the door in this situation. Is it going to be easy to sit someone down for an interview to find out what has happened and what their needs are? Is someone who is already scared, worried and unsure of whom to trust going to freely share personal information to strangers? Probably not.
However, when a hot breakfast is available with a warm shower and clean clothes the wellbeing of person is bound to increase. Proteins introduce calm and improve alertness ensuring a person is more receptive. http://www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/lifestyle/food/the-importance-of-breakfast.html
From experience, at The Whitechapel Centre, we know that we are likely to be able to help someone in a shorter space of time if that person is in a better state of mind after some basic care. The basics in life that we often take for granted. The offer of a meal and clean clothes can build relationships, and show a person kindness that they might not have experienced for a while, kindness that is unexpected.
In order to build that bridge and make a difference to someone’s life, to make sure vulnerable people don’t end up on the streets or to prevent them from spending another night on the street, we need a building, and that building needs light, heat, water, equipment, resources and skilled people. These things require money to be sustainable, so fundraising is a core part of what we do. It underpins every service we provide and that connects us with you. Together we make a difference. Together we are helping people to resolve homelessness and reach their individual potential.
And remember, breakfast is a really important meal of the day. So, give it a little bit more of your time, because some people don’t know when they will get their next hearty breakfast.
This is why we are running Big Boss Brekkie Week 2016! Why not give some time to hosting your own breakfast social during the 20 – 26 June to raise money for The Whitechapel Centre: www.whitechapelcentre.co.uk/bigbossbrekkie
Let’s breakfast like kings together and end homeless together!