An Eastbourne woman is organising a pop-up pamper day for homeless people.
Those living on the streets will have the opportunity to have a hair cut, relax, and enjoy a hot meal or cup of tea at the event at Our Lady of Ransom Church Hall on Sunday, December 9.
Melissa Munsch is hoping it will just be the start of making Eastbourne residents aware of the extent of homelessness in the town, and what they can do to help.
The 38-year-old, who says she has come close to homelessness herself, said, “The response we have had so far has been phenomenal – kudos to the people of Eastbourne! They really are pulling together in this.
“Locals can simply come down and help doing whatever they can by way of making tea and simply chatting with the homeless on the day.”
So far, businesses and organisations involved include: Bell En Soi; Bibendum; Sussex Downs hair and beauty students; Take the Lead dog grooming; and University of Sussex students.
Melissa said, “Just because you are homeless doesn’t make you less in need or want of something like a hair cut.
“It’s about what it will turn into. I’m hoping we will have an army of people willing to help people this winter.”
She’s asking people and businesses to get involved and donate items and their skills – whether that be in hair and beauty, cooking, or simply making the tea.
Items could include: sleeping bags, flasks, warm clothes, coats, gloves, scarves, clean underwear, socks, sanitary items (toothpaste, toothbrushes, wipes, deodorant, combs, sanitary towels).
“I’d like the people of Eastbourne to be aware of the plight of these people,” Melissa said, “It’s gotten so much worse.
“When you speak to these people, it’s harrowing, they have had it all and lost it all. One man I know lost his wife, hit the bottle and within 18 months he went from owning his own business to being on the streets.
“These people aren’t homeless because they want to be.”
She thinks Universal Credit has had an impact on the number of homeless people on the streets, “It’s rife across the UK since they rolled out Universal Credit.”
The law student was forced to quit her job as a self-employed event manager after she seriously injured her back in an accident, needing surgery.
She said after this she was waiting for months to receive Universal Credit, “I had to use the foodbank. The stress of it. I was on the phone to them every single day. I could have been homeless.
“People that don’t have friends and family around them. That happens all too often because people are giving up and losing their homes because the system is failing a lot of people.”
All are welcome at the pamper event which runs from 1pm-5pm on December 9 at the church hall in Grange Road.
For more information on how to help, email firstname.lastname@example.org