This year I was lucky enough to celebrate my 50th birthday. I was also lucky enough to spend 2 weeks in Santa Monica, California, the back drop for my birthday celebration.

California is a stunning place; situated on the Pacific Ocean the towns we visited had a very relaxed vibe and you can see that culture is at its very heart. The Golden State’s history and its abundant subcultures, think surfers, Silicon Valley techno-wizards, make it an attractive destination all year round. However, during my walks along the beaches throughout our trip I was astounded by the number of homeless people we saw. I am not sure why I was surprised, I have travelled extensively since my teens and whenever I am travelling through a city in the UK I will always, always see homeless people. Naively, I did not expect to see so many homeless people on the beaches and in towns, using restrooms and showers, sleeping rough, going through rubbish bins, walking through tourists and holiday makers. I thought that the idyllic location I found myself in would be different, but homelessness is a world-wide issue.

My trip and subsequently a client taking part in fund raising for Centre Point next month, made me think about how the homeless manage and also what the charities in the UK have to do in order to assist in preventing and addressing homelessness in communities.

It is the time of year when the public starts to think about the homeless, mainly because it starts to get cold and as Christmas gets closer, the givings increases. The reasons for being homeless may vary, yet the fact is that the homeless are on our doorsteps 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The charities work tirelessly to make a change and I know that some of our clients also do a great deal to help whenever they can.

So remember it is never too late to help or help to make a difference to someone in need.

Susie Crolla – The Guild of Letting & Management Limited