London Train Station Will Serve Christmas Dinner To 200 Homeless People
While it’s easy to get caught up in consumerism and to-do lists during the holidays, it’s also important to remember the true reason for the season: giving back. In that spirit, London’s Euston train station will be provide a meal for hundreds of homeless people on Christmas Day.
The station will be decorated festively and set up with tables to serve a traditional Christmas dinner to 200 people. The meal is being coordinated by volunteers from two homeless charities, St Mungo’s and Streets Kitchen as well as Network Rail, the owner and infrastructure manager of the rail network in England.
“Many people become homeless because of relationship breakdowns so Christmas can be a particularly lonely time for some of our residents,” Beth Norden, community and events manager at St Mungo’s, told the Evening Standard.
Steve Naybour of Network Rail said the plan was conceived by he and some of his colleagues that were not scheduled to work on the holiday as a way to give back to the community.
“St Mungo’s and Streets Kitchen have been fantastic,” he said. “And I’m proud to say we’ve had lots of interest from Network Rail colleagues to volunteer to come along on the day to help out.”
All supplies for the event have been donated.
Around 307,000 people are categorized as homeless in Britain, according to a statistic provided earlier this year by housing charity Shelter. The problem is most evident in London, with the boroughs of Newham, Haringey, Westminster and Enfield having the biggest proportions of a homeless population.
“It’s shocking to think that today, more than 300,000 people in Britain are waking up homeless. Some will have spent the night shivering on a cold pavement, others crammed into a dingy, hostel room with their children. And what is worse, many are simply unaccounted for,” Polly Neate, Shelter’s chief executive, told The Independent.
London residents are encouraged to alert Streetlink to homeless people who are sleeping in the streets, and the organization will send out outreach teams to help and connect them to services.