Anyone who has ever been deprived of sleep for a period of time knows the woeful effects of long term tiredness. The results can be shocking. According to one source, sleep deprivation can result in depression, poor quality of life, mental impairment, decreased performance and stress.
One study found that reduced sleep time is a greater mortality risk than smoking, high blood pressure, and heart disease!
We would normally associate sleep deprivation with shift workers, new parents and insomniacs, but we don’t always realise that street homeless people can become tragically tired over time.
Apart from being denied the comforts of a warm bed, those sleeping on the streets are in constant “survival mode”. Being asleep in a door hole or under a bush makes you highly vulnerable. As one guy put it to me “I pray every night before I go to sleep, because you have no idea how you will wake up. It might be with someone’s boot in your ribs, someone urinating on you or even trying to set fire to you”
Sleep deprivation de-stabilises homeless people making them hard for professionals to help, and contributes to chronic short term thinking, making it difficult to see further than the next meal, drink or fix.
That is why the Narrowgate is so effective. After a few nights of safe sleep, our guests emerge from emergency mode, become more stable and easier to work with and stand a far better chance of making it off the streets.
Martin and his team do a fantastic job and manage to deliver this amazing service at a cost to MCM of £20.00 per person per night. Well done!
Click below to download the Summer 2015 edition of Paul Winter’s regular newsletter.
Click below to download Paul Winter’s Spring 2015 prayer letter covering the Operation Joy and 4 Site projects.