Two friends from Sutton and Croydon who launched a project to help rough sleepers in the area are seeing their work reap rewards despite the difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Percy’s Homeless Hub launched three years ago through a joint vision shared by Jack Percival and Restaurateur Adam Melius to help people experiencing homelessness in the region.
Since then, the pair have seen their project offer a lifeline for many rough sleepers in Croydon through outreach efforts spurred on in part by Jack’s own previous experience of being homeless.
Adam told the Croydon and Sutton Guardian that in addition to large-scale events like their ‘Big Feed’ that happens in the days leading up to Christmas, Percy’s Homeless Hub are now on the streets more regularly making sure any rough sleepers they are in contact with have access to essential supplies from food to sleeping bags.
A successful mornings outreach.
10 rough sleepers fed and looked after, some new faces also.
Life saving essential packs.
— Percy’s Homeless Hub (@Homeless_hub) January 16, 2021
“Twice a week now we go for a walk around Croydon on a Saturday morning and give out bags with essential products to homeless people such as sleeping bags, hot and cold food and drinks.
“We’re still finding a lot of people out there and since the pandemic the amount of actions we’ve been doing has just increased to help the people that are still on the streets,” he said, describing the assistance offered by the project that might otherwise be lacking entirely for rough sleepers in the area.
From previous annual fundraising totalling around £3,000 at Christmas time, 2020 saw Percy’s Homeless Hub hit £12,000 in donations, boosting their outreach work and the help they are able to provide too, albeit with the added safety precautions necessitated by Covid-19.
“We ramped things up because we knew people were now really being left behind because of the additional struggles,” Adam said in relation to the impact of the pandemic.
“The response has been really good, and doing it more regularly means we’re getting to know people and understand what kind of support they actually need,” he added.
Hi everyone, please take a look at our latest project!
Percys Food Van https://t.co/YYn2bEZpdY
— Percy’s Homeless Hub (@Homeless_hub) January 12, 2021
Many of the contacts they make reflect the precarious economic situation increasing numbers of people find themselves in today, when a turn of bad luck can soon escalate into destitution.
Adam for example references one man they are helping who found himself on the streets after the death of his father and separation from his wife over a short space of time.
“He’s just a guy like everybody else and with just a bit of bad luck he now finds himself in that situation. Everyone has a different story but often it is no one’s particular fault that things have ended up that way.”
As co-founders, Jack and Adam coordinate all of the actions Percy’s Homeless Hub undertake themselves, and their latest plan is to gather enough funds for a moveable feast in the form of a food van that would benefit from Adam’s skills as a chef with the Sutton-based Hospitality Group and Flame Blue Catering.
“We’re going to keep doing this and once we had something like the food bus in place it will be something we can do more regularly,” he said.
To donate to Jack and Adam’s fundraiser, click here.