A mission to help people sleeping rough on the streets

A mission to help people sleeping rough on the streets

Patrick ‘Fatz’ Long has donated time and money to help people sleeping rough by buying them gifts. He has filmed the giving of gifts to help encourage more people to help

Patrick ‘Fatz’ Long, has donated time and money to help people sleeping rough by buying them gifts. He has filmed the giving of gifts to help encourage more people to help

First published in News by , Chief reporter

A man has donated his time and money to help homeless people.

Patrick ‘Fatz’ Long, from Eastbourne, was so upset by the sight of homeless people in Brighton and Hove during a night out that he decided to buy them gifts of clothes, toiletries and essential supplies.

Mr Long filmed himself making his generous donations in the hope of inspiring others.

The 26-year-old DIY store employee said: “I went on a night out in December and saw a lot of homeless people. It ruined my night. I spent the whole night thinking about the homeless people and the next day I went out and bought hats and things and gave them out to people.”

Good work

Last week, Fatz decided to repeat his good work. A friend filmed him as he visited people sleeping rough on the streets of Brighton and Hove and gave them bottles of water, flip flops, T-shirts and other items.

He said: “It was very humbling. No one took anything they didn’t need. If they already had a hat they wouldn’t take another. At first people were a bit wary but afterwards you could see people were so happy.”

Mr Long said he spent about £100 of his own money on each trip – roughly the same amount he would spend on alcohol on a normal night out.

He said: “I would like to do another one before the winter and before it gets really cold out there. I know there are lots of charities doing things but on a personal level it’s not a huge thing to do and makes you feel like you’re making a small difference.”

Fatz hopes others might help him make a difference and has set up a fundraising website. If you would like to donate to help Fatz’s missions, visit http://www.gofundme.com/c9kj1g.

Comments (7)

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1:52pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Fairfax Aches says...

Is there any data to illuminate the link between alcohol/drug abuse and homelessness. I would like to dispel the image that all homeless are drunks, however in Brighton at least it is far from clear.
Is there any data to illuminate the link between alcohol/drug abuse and homelessness. I would like to dispel the image that all homeless are drunks, however in Brighton at least it is far from clear. Fairfax Aches
  • Score: 0

2:38pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Goldenwight says...

Fairfax Aches wrote:
Is there any data to illuminate the link between alcohol/drug abuse and homelessness. I would like to dispel the image that all homeless are drunks, however in Brighton at least it is far from clear.
In my (considerable) experience with street people, drunks are a minority. The problem, of course, is that they are very visible. Add to this the fact that many street drinkers are not actually homeless to begin with and you begin to see the scale of the problem.

That said, I believe that a higher proportion of the homeless than the housed are substance abusers. Many of them became homeless because of poor social skills and lifestyle choices to begin with.

But of the hundreds of rough sleepers I have met over the past decade or so, I can honestly say that of the half dozen who truly prefer to live on the streets (i.e. as a lifestyle choice, rather than an unfortunate circumstance) none are actually drinkers. But you are unlikely to come across one of these, particularly not in Brighton, as they prefer to keep themselves to themselves.
[quote][p][bold]Fairfax Aches[/bold] wrote: Is there any data to illuminate the link between alcohol/drug abuse and homelessness. I would like to dispel the image that all homeless are drunks, however in Brighton at least it is far from clear.[/p][/quote]In my (considerable) experience with street people, drunks are a minority. The problem, of course, is that they are very visible. Add to this the fact that many street drinkers are not actually homeless to begin with and you begin to see the scale of the problem. That said, I believe that a higher proportion of the homeless than the housed are substance abusers. Many of them became homeless because of poor social skills and lifestyle choices to begin with. But of the hundreds of rough sleepers I have met over the past decade or so, I can honestly say that of the half dozen who truly prefer to live on the streets (i.e. as a lifestyle choice, rather than an unfortunate circumstance) none are actually drinkers. But you are unlikely to come across one of these, particularly not in Brighton, as they prefer to keep themselves to themselves. Goldenwight
  • Score: 3

3:03pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Fairfax Aches says...

Good points and something we should all consider as part of our wider perception of (and thus behaviour towards) the homeless-whether they are visible or less so.
Good points and something we should all consider as part of our wider perception of (and thus behaviour towards) the homeless-whether they are visible or less so. Fairfax Aches
  • Score: 1

3:11pm Thu 14 Aug 14

stevo!! says...

Fairfax Aches wrote:
Is there any data to illuminate the link between alcohol/drug abuse and homelessness. I would like to dispel the image that all homeless are drunks, however in Brighton at least it is far from clear.
Isn't the important thing the fact that they are homeless, and not how they conduct their homeless lives?
[quote][p][bold]Fairfax Aches[/bold] wrote: Is there any data to illuminate the link between alcohol/drug abuse and homelessness. I would like to dispel the image that all homeless are drunks, however in Brighton at least it is far from clear.[/p][/quote]Isn't the important thing the fact that they are homeless, and not how they conduct their homeless lives? stevo!!
  • Score: 1

4:02pm Thu 14 Aug 14

P.Dant says...

Many of us pay taxes to deal with these issues and wonder why the Council don`t get them fixed.If people want to do more,give money and items to homeless charities.There are also clothes banks and food banks.Random contributions directly to people on the street,is misguided compassion at best.It might make the giver feel better,but will likely make the problem worse.
Many of us pay taxes to deal with these issues and wonder why the Council don`t get them fixed.If people want to do more,give money and items to homeless charities.There are also clothes banks and food banks.Random contributions directly to people on the street,is misguided compassion at best.It might make the giver feel better,but will likely make the problem worse. P.Dant
  • Score: 1

5:19pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Goldenwight says...

P.Dant wrote:
Many of us pay taxes to deal with these issues and wonder why the Council don`t get them fixed.If people want to do more,give money and items to homeless charities.There are also clothes banks and food banks.Random contributions directly to people on the street,is misguided compassion at best.It might make the giver feel better,but will likely make the problem worse.
You make a valid point here, albeit indirectly. Random contributions, as you put it, are often inappropriate and even unwelcome.

For example, some years ago there were a group of Fijian missionaries in Southampton who would patrol the streets every Saturday night looking for rough sleepers and feeding them. The problem was, the rough sleepers would have been fed at a soup kitchen earlier in the evening (if they so wished) and really were not that keen about being woken up at 1am or even 2am to be fed a hot meal. Had the Fijians communicated with the church which organized the soup kitchen, they could have given out their hot meals there and would have been much more welcome.

I don't think however that this will actually increase homelessness- I have never known anyone to become a rough sleeper (the two terms are not synonymous) simply to get a handout.
[quote][p][bold]P.Dant[/bold] wrote: Many of us pay taxes to deal with these issues and wonder why the Council don`t get them fixed.If people want to do more,give money and items to homeless charities.There are also clothes banks and food banks.Random contributions directly to people on the street,is misguided compassion at best.It might make the giver feel better,but will likely make the problem worse.[/p][/quote]You make a valid point here, albeit indirectly. Random contributions, as you put it, are often inappropriate and even unwelcome. For example, some years ago there were a group of Fijian missionaries in Southampton who would patrol the streets every Saturday night looking for rough sleepers and feeding them. The problem was, the rough sleepers would have been fed at a soup kitchen earlier in the evening (if they so wished) and really were not that keen about being woken up at 1am or even 2am to be fed a hot meal. Had the Fijians communicated with the church which organized the soup kitchen, they could have given out their hot meals there and would have been much more welcome. I don't think however that this will actually increase homelessness- I have never known anyone to become a rough sleeper (the two terms are not synonymous) simply to get a handout. Goldenwight
  • Score: 1

9:58pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

The Vagrancy Act 1824 is used by some police forces to remove people living on the streets, begging and sleeping rough.
This forces councils to manage the issue in partnership with health services and charities providing safe places to stay and mental health services if needed.
However in this city, it seems that the council prefer to have these people sleeping on pavements and doorways because they are too busy installing light up bus time tables for the rich of Preston Park and holding parties to celebrate the re-painting of a cycle lane for the uni students.
Where's our socialist MP Caroline Lucas? In Balcombe helping the residents protect their multi million pound homes from fracking.
I don't know how our councillors sleep at night.
The Vagrancy Act 1824 is used by some police forces to remove people living on the streets, begging and sleeping rough. This forces councils to manage the issue in partnership with health services and charities providing safe places to stay and mental health services if needed. However in this city, it seems that the council prefer to have these people sleeping on pavements and doorways because they are too busy installing light up bus time tables for the rich of Preston Park and holding parties to celebrate the re-painting of a cycle lane for the uni students. Where's our socialist MP Caroline Lucas? In Balcombe helping the residents protect their multi million pound homes from fracking. I don't know how our councillors sleep at night. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 1

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