It is argued that empathy cannot be taught but could happen through our positive non-judgemental interaction with others. We need to listen and to imagine what it is like to be the other. It is always easier to interact with others if they belong to our group, and hence it is easy to empathise with them as they experience sufferings and hardships through life.
You face many challenges: finding a place to sleep; finding food and money for essentials; keeping up with your education; fighting loneliness. One of the biggest challenges that I don't think people always realise is finding the strength to stay positive and keep a smile on your face, when you feel lonely and isolated, with no one to turn to.
To me this project is about reminding each other that homelessness could happen to any of us and more importantly that they are human beings first. I cannot imagine the strength and resilience it would take to survive on the street, so to do one small bit to make someone feel cared for, supported and encouraged to keep going, means something.
At St Mungo's we work to end homelessness and help people rebuild their lives. Across London and the south of England, we provide outreach support and accommodation where people can find the help they need to begin to build their futures in a positive way. We know that there is life after rough sleeping. We see every day that people can - and do - recover and move on from homelessness.