A property manager in Romford has set up her own homeless charity with her partner in a bid to help rough sleepers in Havering.
In November last year, Alex Russell discovered that she had loads of clothes she did not want and wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. She knew she wanted to do something useful with them and so put forward the idea of embarking on a mission to help the homeless, to her partner.
Alex told the Havering Daily: “I was sitting there one evening not knowing what to do with all the clutter I have. So I suggested to my partner why don’t we try and help the homeless out and he agreed.”
From there Alex set up a Facebook page that flourished and did really well. Donations started to come in and now Alex has a team of volunteers that go out three times a week in Romford to help rough sleepers.
Alex continued: “We started with hardly anything and now through all our donations we are able to help so many people.
“We set up two stools outside Primark in Romford, three times a week. We are there Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8pm until 10.30pm.
“We feed between 15-20 people a night. We are a team of volunteers all wearing high visibility jackets that are out there to help.
“It’s not just about feeding them it’s also about having someone to talk to. Some pop along just to chat and have a hot drink.
“Many are people who have fallen on hard times and don’t want to let their families know they are sleeping rough, so some of their families aren’t even aware.
“The majority of the homeless hostels only allow people aged up to 35 years old. So there are many out there that have nowhere to go.
“We had one man here who had worked for London Underground all his life. Got sick so he couldn’t work, consequently lost his job and couldn’t pay his mortgage.
“It really is heartbreaking.”