WE should all do what we can to support homeless charity Shelter’s winter appeal.

Perhaps the only good thing about the 2008 global economic crisis and its aftermath is that it reminded us that people facing homelessness are not ‘others’ but rather people like us who have been dealt a bad hand.

Unless a person belongs to the minuscule fortunate few whose wealth means they are forever insulated from certain realities, they can no more say for certain that they will never be homeless than they can say for certain that they will never need to visit a food bank.

A lost job, a change in benefits, a month or two of suspended or disrupted income is all it would take to leave millions of ‘normal’ people facing the prospect of losing their homes.

Shelter works day and night to help people either avoid suffering such a fate, or suffer it as briefly as possible.

It puts people in touch with the aid they need, and for many of its clients the work of the charity means the stark difference between sleeping beneath a roof and sleeping rough.

The charity also helps people who, although they have a roof to sleep under, find themselves shuttling from one form of accommodation to another. For children in particular, such instability can have devastating repercussions.

Without the basic security of a stable, secure home, what child can go through life in anything other than a permanent state of anxiety? What child can devote himself or herself to doing their best at school?

There are many ways of making donations, whether as a one-off or a regular commitment, and all donations can change lives.