Goood recently teamed up with the amazing volunteers at Roots Independent Street Team to provide hot meals, clothes and essentials to Bristol’s homeless community. We were blown away by the work done by the volunteers who support this community with donations, conversation and kindness, and take the time to build deep relationships with people in need.
Initially, we thought that providing sleeping bags and warm clothing would be hugely beneficial to this community, but what we didn't realise was the importance of communication. For many of the visitors, this was their first meaningful conversation of the day. It was the first time someone had asked them how their day was going or checked if they were ok. And to the homeless community, it was evident that this really meant the world.
Helping people stay warm on the streets is never a bad thing, but what we learnt by working with Roots was the importance of engaging with the homeless community, listening to their problems and signposting them to places which can truly help. We witnessed first hand the importance of working with an established group who have built up trust with these communities and who are working to help get people off the streets.
We worked alongside the other volunteers to give out hot meals, warm clothing and other essentials and took the time to speak with the visitors who came by. Throughout the evening Roots helped 68 people, all at different stages of homelessness, but all hugely in need. From the elderly, the young, the newly homeless and the long-term homeless, the team took the time to engage with every single visitor to ensure they felt valued. Led by Justine, Roots provide this service every Thursday, all for free and based solely on donations and the goodwill of some incredible people.
What we learnt:
- The importance of kindness and compassion, and how taking the time to strike up conversations can mean so much to the homeless community.
- Speak to an outreach program – they will let you know what is really needed, sometimes it can be the simplest of things.
- The stories and the backgrounds of the homeless community we met were truly eye-opening
What we’re noticing from our #DoGoood events is the amazing work being done all over the country by dedicated volunteers, all working to make the world a better place. We’re honoured to be able to engage with these organisations and help give back to those who need it most.