For many years now, the London Runs have been distributing clothing from the back of the minibuses on the Monday night ‘Runs’. More recently, this method has been causing problems, in that it has not been possible to distribute the clothing fairly.
Mostly, the distribution would turn in to a free for all which meant that the strongest among the homeless would physically exclude the weakest. In looking for a solution to this problem we came across The Soup Kitchen at The American Church in Tottenham Court Road, offering a “drop in soup kitchen” and other services to the homeless including a “Clothes Closet” which opens on alternate Mondays for two hours from 10,00am until 12.00 noon.
Their clothes distribution system is controlled and managed well, thereby avoiding any ‘scrums’, We now take all our clothes donations to the Soup Kitchen for distribution and direct any enquirers for clothes and sleeping bags etc to them. The minibuses now just carry a few emergency items for extreme cases of hardship. This system has been operational for about two months now and appears to be working well. There is much less aggravation at the soup run locations and we have seen a significant reduction in the numbers of people who would turn up mainly for the clothes.
For more detailed information on the Soup Kitchen at The American Church please visit their webpage, http://www.amchurch.co.uk/soup_kitchen.htm or to view their latest newsletter (in PDF format), click below: