The Brixton Soup Kitchen in London has grown exponentially over the years. Starting in 2013 out of founder Solomon Smith’s car, they now have their own building and are registered as a nonprofit. They have a food bank, clothing bank, and counselors despite an incredibly low budget.
Ordinarily, the kitchen is only open from 10 am to 2 pm Monday through Thursday. Yet, during the holiday season, they shift into overdrive. Their team of volunteers keep the place open every day leading up to Christmas. As of 2016, the kitchen has been open every Christmas until evening.
“Everywhere is gonna be closed. A lot of these rough sleepers are not going to be able to have their usual spots,” said Mahamed Hashi, co-founder of the kitchen.”…our fear, especially during this time of year, is ‘where are they gonna go?’
“So, for us, we’re open… just for people to have somewhere to feel like they’re invited.”
The kitchen partnered with local charities Juvenis and Gamechangers to help during this busy time. Those organizations are also helping them with Brixton Big Breakfast, a monthly breakfast program for hungry kids.
There’s a lot of good going on at the kitchen though, interestingly, Smith doesn’t want it to last forever.
“When people say, ‘So, Solomon, where do you see yourself in five years?’ …I want Brixton Soup Kitchen to be liquidated cuz there is no homelessness,” he said. “That is the thing I have been saying and will always say.”
Credit: Barcroft TV