Spotlight on Arif Voraji
Here at Spotlight, we had the opportunity to chat with Arif Voraji, Founder Help the Homeless Leicester. He spoke to us about how his drive and determination to help those in need brought Help the Homeless alive and also gave us some tips for those starting out in their career.
Goals for Help the Homeless Leicester
We are trying to eradicate homelessness or alleviate the suffering of anybody who may be struggling whether that is with food or material goods or even mental health support.
Inspiration for Help the Homeless Leicester
I took inspiration from a Facebook video and that my friend posted of him helping a homeless man in Manchester. I then went onto eBay and bought lots of clothing and then went onto Granby Street and started to help people from the boot of my car in November 2014. It has naturally grown from there into what you see today which is a fully registered charity with eight employees and that number will grow.
The biggest challenge was getting the support and trust of the public and from businesses. I overcame these challenges by constantly posting and highlighting our work on our social media platforms. This helped gain traction and support.
Drive and Determination
What gives me the drive and determination is the fact that we can make such a difference in people's lives and in some instances even save lives. Help the Homeless Leicester desires to help those in need and deliver our promises in an efficient and effective way.
Biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way
I would say the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is to stay true to your ethos and try to be as transparent and honest as possible.
Tips for those starting out their career
I would say try to do something that you know you will enjoy, the Monday mornings will never be a chore again. Along with this be true and honest and build up solid networks. Finally, be a kind human being.
The best and worst part of your job
The best part of my job is that we can help somebody new every day and we do it in an effective way. The worst part must be some of the heartbreaking stories I hear while talking to those in need. Having a positive mental attitude and not giving up has allowed me to get to where I am today.
What has been your strategy for your charity during corona?
We have adapted our services as the majority of homeless people were accommodated by the local authority. We ensured that people that were self-isolating, shielding or unable to buy goods due to panic buying had enough of the basic essentials delivered to their doorsteps via our team of volunteers. We also delivered hot food every evening in the initial lockdown. The food parcel delivery service is still ongoing every Wednesday and people can donate nonperishable items to others if required.
I hope that Help the Homeless will only grow from here and hopefully, in the future, we can expand to other cities locally that need our service.