Nobody deserves to feel invisible. And there’s a group of volunteers called the The Sock Mob on a mission to make sure that London’s homeless no longer have to experience this.
It was all started in 2003 by a group friends who simply wanted to spend time with homeless people – chat, listen, provide companionship and take a small step to help them feel a little less lonely and isolated. They would explore the streets of inner London, striking up conversations and offering hot drinks and pairs of socks to help break the ice.
This small group of friends has now grown into a volunteer network with nearly 3,000 members… but they remain committed to the same, simple aim. They still get together on a weekly basis, meeting in different location across the city. After splitting up into pairs or smaller groups, volunteers walk around the area for an hour or so chatting with the people they have got know over the years. Every walk is led by an experienced member of the network and volunteers bring along drinks, food and basic items to share with the people they meet.
There are loads of great organisations helping to tackle homelessness in London, but we think The Sock Mob are doing something really quite special. This isn’t about charity or philanthropy… it’s simply about bringing a bit of normality back into the lives of people who would otherwise feel invisible on the streets of our city. And the Sock Mob’s great success has even led to the creation of Unseen Tours – a unique social enterprise providing walking tours led by homeless guides (more on this in future GOTiLo posts).
So if you’ve got an open mind and want to step outside of your comfort zone, why not get yourself down to one of their fortnightly walks.