by Mhairi McPhillips (@mhairim96)
THE HOMELESS people of Southampton will be a little bit warmer for winter this year, thanks to Solent student Ruby Munslow.
Ruby, a second year Music Journalism student, has taken it upon herself to provide second-hand sleeping bags, duvets and jumpers for the homeless people in the city.
The inspiration came from talking to a homeless man in the street as she was passing.
She said: “He was telling me about how he got kicked out of his house, it’s in Southampton but has been taken over by other homeless people. So I went and got some sleeping bags and went back and we spoke for another two hours.
“We have so much stuff that goes to waste in our house, we had a dig around and found six sleeping bags and some quilts that we don’t use. It is so cold that if anyone could just donate anything they don’t use any more it would be nice for them to have for Christmas.”
As there has been an increase in the levels of begging in Southampton, there are now more homeless people on the streets than ever.
With the temperatures dropping as we get closer to the freezing months, Ruby and her friends thought that there is no better time than now to help out those who are less fortunate.
Ruby added: “I’ve had a lot of people say negative things about the homeless and that all they do is take drugs and drink but at the end of the day they are less fortunate than us and they deserve a little bit of warmth.”
Although there are charities working to help the homeless in Southampton, some homeless people find it hard to seek help and instead stay on the streets and actively beg.
However, there are a number of ‘bogus beggars’ who spend their day on the streets receiving money from the residents and tourists of Southampton, but are going back to houses at night.
This leaves people feeling suspicious about the homeless and some are hesitant of giving money to people who don’t necessarily need it.
Ruby, however, disagrees.
“It’s just awful that nothing is getting done about it, especially with everything going on in Syria at the moment with the refugees. If the Government aren’t going to do anything about it, then we need to start doing something.”
Listen below to hear a sample of Southampton’s public’s views on the number of homeless people in the city.