Homelessness is something that could be solved if communities start to unify and work together.
“When we close the doors for the day, we promise to leave bags outside full of tasty food,” said the owners of Bosu Body Bar in a Facebook post that has received an outpouring of support — in addition to plenty of likes and shares.
Bosu Body Bar is a healthy food restaurant located in Manchester, England. Originally launched in 2015 near Chorlton, the restaurant would later find a home in Didsbury while turning the Chorlton site into a cocktail bar.
After being open for several years, the owners — siblings Sarah and Michael Beck, business partners Oliver Drummond and Josef Ramzi-Faddoul — noticed two things:
- The rate of homelessness in Manchester had been steadily rising.
- Their restaurant was throwing away tons of perfectly fine food after closing every night.
Putting 2 and 2 together, they realized the food leftover every night could be shared with homeless people in the area — some who could be starving and lacking the necessary nutrients to survive. By simply setting the food out at the end of the night, they could help save lives as they continue to battle the hardships of being homeless.
Almost two weeks ago, Bosu Body Bar decided to share their generous efforts in the all-famous Facebook post that has been liked by over 1,200 people and shared almost 1,000 times. They named it The Bosu Project as seen below:
Michael Beck and the rest of the owners were blown away when they saw the amount of support they were receiving on social media:
We post pictures of food all day long and sometimes they don’t get any attention, then we woke up the next morning and I’ve never seen that many likes and shares. It was quite overwhelming. We’re not the only ones doing it and we’re certainly not the only people who care about people in need, but hopefully other people who have seen it will now do the same.
It’s either that or the bin, it’s as simple as that.Michael Beck, co-owner
After seeing the response from people in the area, Bosu Body Bar has since decided to give the leftover food to homeless charities and shelters at the end of the night, instead of leaving them outside on the sidewalk. This way, they can ensure that the food is going to the people in need of it most, as well as keeping the food at a proper temperature.
In addition to that, The Bosu Project is also setting up donation drop-offs where people can donate warm clothing like hats, scarves and blankets. With temperatures starting to get below 40 degrees in Manchester, rough times will be getting rougher for the homeless.
Every last bit counts.
The owners of Bosu Body Bar can only hope that more restaurants and businesses start doing the same. The power of working together and helping each other out is one of the most important powers of being human. With proper use of it, we can find a solution to any problem.
What else is being done to fight homelessness in Manchester?
The rising rate of homelessness in Manchester hasn’t been a secret to anyone in England and it’s a problem that Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor, is making a strong effort to combat.
In his vision for “a region where no person or place is left behind,” Burnham has recently set out a list of 10 priorities with the area’s ten local councils that will act as a blueprint for the future of Manchester. The vision declared that “with the help of everyone across Greater Manchester, we are determined to achieve.”
Along with protecting the children and their education, the 10 priorities will also have a strong emphasis on beginning the end to rough sleeping and homelessness — a promise made by Andy Burnham in his election manifesto. Numbers released by Homeless Link showed nearly 80 rough sleepers in Manchester in 2016, but that number could be as much as 300 by now.
Patsy Hodson, the chairwoman of Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation, said the strategy was “ambitious and challenging, but I believe Greater Manchester can and will deliver on it if we all continue to work together” — according to BBC News.
Homeless people are also receiving help from a number of charities, such as Lifeshare. Most recently, the charity announced a scheme that would allow homeless people use of public libraries in Greater Manchester. That would include 22 of the city’s libraries.
Currently, people who wish to sign up for a library card must have a permanent address. Under the pilot scheme, Lifeshare clients would be able to present a letter from the organization in order to qualify for a library card.
Doing so would be a major step for a lot of homeless people, giving them full access to the library services, as well as free use of the internet, DVD’s and reference books. Homeless people also wouldn’t be fined for overdue items.
Homelessness is a growing problem across the globe. In the United States alone, studies showed that there were nearly 550,000 homeless people on a single night in January 2016 — according to the Housing and Urban Development’s Point-in-Time Count. 35% of those people were made up of families and 31% of them were youths under the age of 24.
It’s an epidemic that can easily be solved if communities start coming together and working in unity.
For a solid list of homeless charities in the United States, click here.
Do what you can to help and remember, every last bit counts.