'Nobody wants to know so I'll do it myself' – Man's personal crusade to help Wrexham's homeless

Reporter:

Amy Sargeson

A man on a mission of helping homeless people in Wrexham is looking to set up an official charity.

Nick Claffey, 34, of Wrexham, has been helping the homeless for more than a year.

This month he decided to set up an official organisation called Humanity 4 Homeless to co-ordinate all the work he has been doing in and around the town centre.

Mr Claffey said: “The main reason I decided to set up the organisation is because of the amount of homeless people we have in Wrexham, which has sky rocketed in the last couple of years.

I've been doing a bit to help them for a while. It started with an old couple who stayed in the doorway to the empty building previously occupied by Greenwoods opposite Halifax bank in the town centre.

”I often have to travel into Wrexham late at night to pick my wife up from work so I started bringing flasks of tea and coffee for them, blankets, that sort of thing.

”Then when the camp appeared on the Groves and they were all in one place I started engaging with them more.

”Not just bringing them food and camping supplies, but trying to understand why this situation had become so bad over the last few years.

”It became more and more apparent that it was mainly down to prison leavers not being classed as a priority for housing.”

Mr Claffey recently helped a young girl who was homeless connect with her family that she had “become estranged from” and is “pushing hard” for a home for a 67-year-old who almost lost his leg and has been “sleeping rough for years”.

He said: “I spoke with another gentleman last night who served our country in the army and has spent alot of time in the last few years on the streets.

”He told me the compassion that myself and people who give up their time alongside me showed to him were a piece of the jigsaw that resulted in him getting clean of drink and drugs, which to me, is an amazing thing to hear. To know that you helped along with that process is brilliant.”

Before setting up Humanity 4 Homeless, the 34-year-old contacted CAIS, the Wallich, AVOW and the Salvation Army but said he had not received any responses, so he set up his own organisation.

He added: ”There is no hot food available on a Thursday evening. Every other night something is provided, but for no reason, not a Thursday.

”I've asked the agencies what the barriers are to stop them providing services on a Thursday, but they haven’t replied.

”Executive director Lee Robinson (Wrexham Council) told me he has made representation to the local agencies and heard nothing back. MP Susan Elan Jones has made representation to Wrexham Council with regard to this, but once again we are waiting to hear back.

”Nobody wants to know, so I'll do it myself.”

In his next steps in helping homeless people in Wrexham, Mr Claffey has now applied for Humanity 4 Homeless to become an official charity and an official website is also in the process of being set up.

Mr Claffey told the Leader he has been taking hot food to the homeless the past “12 to 18 months” in their “times of need”.

The 34-year-old said those 16 people who are eligible  “lucky enough” to stay at Ty Nos, a night shelter for single homeless men and women over the age of 18 that require immediate housing and support, will be fed at 7.30pm but for the rest of those who are sleeping rough, there is “absolutely nothing”.

Mr Claffey and his team also provide clothes and blankets for homeless people and any extras are taken to Ty Nos who he says “do their best to make a night of sleeping rough as comfortable as they can”. 

BLOB A charity and awareness night for Humantity 4 Homeless will be held at Saith Seren in Wrexham on Friday, November 24, from 7pm onwards.

There will be live music from Leaving Dakota, entry will be free and there will be a food and clothes bank.

Contributions of food, toiletries and clothing will be gratefully received, especially winter scarves, gloves and hats.

Anyone who wishes to donate to the cause or help out the Humanity 4 Homeless can message the Facebook page via www.facebook.com/H4HNorthWales or email nick@humanity4homeless.org.uk

Email:

amy.sargeson@nwn.co.uk

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  • 99Dylan

    20:08, 17 November 2017

    Nick there are many organizations that provide support for the homeless- not sure why you are making out no one wants to know. There are multi-agency working going on in Wrexham and has been for some time. Not engaging with other providers is a recipe for disaster and runs the risk if undoing much of the work already occurring to support the vulnerable. Why not join in with others rarher than having a one man crusade.

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