Meldrum man completes challenge

editorial image

A North-east man Gordon Cruden has completed a 30-day challenge to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless.

Mr Cruden, who lives in Oldmeldrum, slept rough in six cities - London, Cardiff, Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen - in a campaign to gather money for a homeless shelter.

There are many different different reasons why people end up on the streets

Gordon Cruden Fundraiser

The Buy Benaiah project aims to raise £535,000 in order to purchase the building so that support can be offered to vulnerable women on a permanent basis.

So far, just over £200,000 has been raised as Mr Cruden blogged about his experience on social media.

He said he was ‘absolutely exhausted’ on the last day in Aberdeen. adding: “I’ve hardly been sleeping at all. There’s a lot of people in the homeless shelters shrieking through the night because of nightmares.”

That and the stories he heard which led people to live on the streets humanised the homeless.

“There are many different reasons why people end up on the streets, but one common thread was one of neglect.”

The insight it gave helped him come to the conclusion that financing alone won’t solve the issue.

Mr Cruden said: “I truly believe that no matter how much money the government throws at it, there will still be a homeless problem.”

He used the example of how an Aberdeen shelter provided board games, and how simple interaction with others can help those in need.

He said: “When I was alone with hours to kill, I really could have used something like that.

“I see how people fall into the trap of substance abuse.

“It’s a daunting prospect leaving a shelter at seven in the morning and not knowing how or when you’re going to eat”