M. Schmidt (verantwortlich), verfasst vor mehr als 2 Jahren
Welcome readers to the brand new Sock Mob blog here on betterplac.org!
But what on earth, you might be asking, is the Sock Mob? And how did it all come about?
With simplicity and socks.
In 2003, a group of friends took to the streets of London to meet and talk with homeless people, giving a few basic material items purely to break the ice and crack a smile – socks being the ideal tool! Our main focus was on offering friendship to people whose loneliness is, as they themselves have told us, often more hurtful and insidious than hunger. Seven years on, this remains at the heart of what we do.
Ultimately, our aim is two-pronged – firstly, to help rebuild people’s sense of self-worth by showing them respect and sharing time and space with them in an agenda-free way; and secondly, to bridge the artificial divide between ‘us’ and ‘them’ that can partly be seen as responsible for the growing culture of fear on our streets. Recently, the prevalence of impending repossessions and real danger of ending up on the streets for people from different socio-economic backgrounds, has meant that the thin line separating 'us' from 'then' dwindles even further. I hope that by crossing it we can be there not only to provide for immediate material need in an emergency situation but also, through sustained relationships, to provide that crucial moral uplift that may prevent frightened, stigmatised and angry individuals from seeking solace in potentially self-destructive behaviours.
The Sock Mob was also set up to help individuals 'organically' engage with the marginalised; our organised weekly walks are essentially just a tool to help build the skills and confidence to do this. There are many in London who enact the spirit of our walks individually, quietly and unobtrusively being there for people who would otherwise be denied the vital warmth of human contact and so giving them the hope and motivation to fight their situation.
With this in mind, the exchange of stories and increased knowledge about circumstances different to our own is central to our vision, because this knowledge then gives us real power to move and act and understand the wider social forces that otherwise may seem bleak and obscure. In this way, the Sock Mob is by no means just about ‘helping the homeless’. By allowing privileged insight into lives which may otherwise never touch our own, our homeless friends challenge us to re-examine what ‘community’ means and how we individually can contribute to a healthier, more caring London spirit.
Feel free to join us for one of our upcoming walks if you happen to be in London - it's worth it!!