As the temperature drops from the warm peaks of summer to the frosty lows of winter, our habits and routines noticeably change. Instead of a summer-friendly outfit consisting of comfortable short-sleeved tops, shorts and skirts, thermals, hats, and scarves are what’s in fashion - saving you from a seasonal chill.
While we are fortunate to have such luxuries as putting on a thick winter coat and turning up the thermostat when we get home in the evening, not everyone does. As a homeless charity, we are aware of the very real challenges that those living on the streets face every single day. As we are tucked up in bed under a profuse duvet at night, the homeless are freezing and are at the mercy of the elements.
Men, women and children living without a roof over their head simply never know whether a cold night could be their last. Here at ILM UK, we are working to bring the care that is needed as part of our winter homeless appeal, but this is impossible without the support of our donors.
Packs for the Homeless
As part of the work we do to help keep the homeless safe over the winter months, ILM provides packs filled with essentials – such as food, medical supplies and blankets. Our main objective is to reach as many orphaned children as we can who are in danger all year round, but especially in the winter months when they are at their most vulnerable.
Although ILM UK is a Muslim charity, we are proud to work with children and families of all backgrounds. Just as the cold does not discriminate, neither do we, and do everything in our power to carry out the good work of Allah (SWT) and help our brothers and sisters.
The work that our team carries out is priceless and cannot be understated. Our orphan relief appeal begins from just £30 a month, which helps us to provide food, water and education for an orphaned child.
Around the World
ILM UK helps children and families around the world, recognising the difficulty that is faced on a daily basis both at home and abroad. Even in richer economic states, homelessness is an important issue that must be tackled – this is why we offer support wherever it is needed. This includes right here in the United Kingdom, where an estimated 14.5 million people were thought to be living below the poverty line before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
Now, one in four are considered to be living in poverty and the number of the UK’s homeless was thought to be at 280,000 in 2019 (likely to be higher due to the effects of the pandemic). To those on the streets, whether living right here in the UK or in desperate conditions in the Middle East, we will work to provide supplies as they are needed.
The Risks of Being Homeless in the Winter
The risks of being at the mercy of winter conditions are vast, with the colder temperatures making the perfect breeding ground for disease and bacteria. Pneumonia is one of the main causes of death for homeless people as they have little to no protection from the conditions. By the time medical attention reaches the person, it is often too little too late.
As winter is a breeding ground for viruses, illness soon spreads amongst the homeless. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the spread was clear to see – especially in refugee camps where physical distancing was next to impossible. While the common cold or flu might wipe us out for a day or two, we can recuperate in the comfort of our home, staying warm in bed. This is not an option that the homeless have, and instead, a simple sickness soon manifests into something much more serious.
The other risk that the homeless face is being taken advantage of. With the lure of potential income, it is easy for opportunists to offer something without following through. Trafficking and child labour are just two of the crimes that homeless people may be the victims of, believing there to be the possibility of earning an income and, with that, improving their living situation. This is just one of the ways that providing an education for orphaned children will help to protect them, as it opens the door to better opportunities in the future – as well as giving them a safe environment in which to learn.
Support ILM This Winter
None of the work that is carried out by the ILM team would be possible without your support, which is why we urge you to strongly consider giving what you can. Around the world, millions of homeless people are bracing themselves ready for another difficult winter – we cannot stand by and allow the homelessness crisis to continue without doing what we can.
No, we will not be able to reach everyone who needs support this winter, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t aim to do so. Please give what you can to ILM UK through our donations page so our team can continue to reach the homeless families and orphaned children in need this winter