The third challenge, and the one that motivates Linda and Tom, and drives what my colleagues and I do, are the daily challenges faced by homeless people. Survival when you are street homeless can be likened to climbing Mont Blanc, but homeless people have little option but to climb their on personal mountain every day.
The life expectancy of a homeless man is 47 years, for a homeless woman just 43 years. They are 35 times more likely to take their own lives than the rest of the population, ten times more likely to have a chronic health problem (80% will be receiving no treatment), and 13 times more likely to be the victim of crime.
Fortunately there are places like First Base to provide them with the essentials for keeping alive – food, showers, clean and dry clothes, medical treatment – while equally important, they are helped to get off the streets, into accommodation, training, work experience and employment.
And fortunately there a people like Linda and Tom who make it possible for us to continue to do the work we do. Everyone associated with First Base Day Centre is incredibly grateful to Linda, Tom and everyone who supports our work.
Tom said this morning, just before heading off: “Linda and I would like to thank everyone for sponsoring us and urge everyone who hasn’t yet to pledge just a few pounds to help BHT continue to provide homeless people in Brighton with the lifeline they so desperately need.”