Prince William goes homeless for charity
Sleeping out in the street is not something British Royal can be associated with. Prince William follows into his late mother’s steps dedicating a lot of his time and effort to Centrepoint, the charity he patrols, that provides shelter and support to homeless young people.
William and Centrepoint CEO Seyi Obakin saw it for themselves what it’s like to be a homeless in a big city spending a night rough sleeping in central London on December 15, 2009.
Getting some cold sleeping bags and cardboard boxes for shelter the two joined a small group of other rough sleepers. Despite wind and cold night, William “was determined to understand deeply the full range of problems a homeless young person might face. He was determined to do it in order to raise awareness of the problem and to be able to understand a little better what rough sleepers go through night after night,” the Centrepoint website reads.
There was no shielding from the bitter cold, or the hard concrete floor, or the fear of being accosted by drug dealers, pimps or those out to give homeless people a “good” kicking,” Obakin wrote. “One of the hairiest moments occurred when we were almost run over by a road sweeper which simply didn’t see our small group huddled together, which just goes to show how vulnerable rough sleepers are. I have never been happier to welcome the break of dawn!”
On the next day Prince William said in his statement:
I cannot, after one night, even begin to imagine what it must be like to sleep rough on London’s streets night after night. Poverty, mental illness, drug and alcohol dependancy and family breakdown cause people to become and then stay homeless. Centrepoint’s work – along with many other organisations’ – in tackling these fundamental causes is desperately important if we are ever to end homelessness in this country. I hope that by deepening my understanding of the issue, I can help do my bit to help the most vulnerable on our streets.”
Centrepoint Chief Operations Officer Maxine Edney added that she hoped this experience would make “more people take the time to consider why young people are vulnerable on the streets, be it family breakdown, poverty or abuse.”
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