Broch man finishes homeless challenge

Gordon Cruden with Mick, one of the homeless people he met in Piccadilly, London
Gordon Cruden with Mick, one of the homeless people he met in Piccadilly, London

Fraserburgh man Gordon Cruden has completed his 30 day homeless challenge to raise awareness for the plight of those on the street.

Mr Cruden slept rough for 30 days across six cities - London, Cardiff, Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen - in a campaign to raise money for a homeless shelter.

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 he blogged about his experience on social media.

Gordon said he was ‘absolutely exhausted’ on the last day in Aberdeen.

He said: “I’ve hardly been sleeping at all. There is 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, he added.

“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.

“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”