streetreads has been a wonderful runaway success in the months since it began. Unfortunately, small community organisations like this are sometimes the victim of their own success.
I care deeply about every one of streetreads’ homeless readers. They are lodged deep in my heart.
I am profoundly grateful for all book donations, all of the support from our supporters and media coverage. For everything. From everyone.
I and my volunteers have tried to keep up with the enormous amount of work required to get books to our homeless readers. It is impossible to describe just how much this entails. Volunteers have their own lives to lead and have given time to us out of the goodness of their hearts. But that also means that the workload has sometimes been overwhelming when volunteers were unable to attend. Firefighting day after day, week after week is an impossible way to run an organisation, especially when its founder has a musical, not a business brain.
Since the sudden move to a difficult space, I have struggled to keep streetreads going.
Despite trying to keep going for many weeks now, my physical and mental health have now totally broken down. I cannot go on. This is not a wee attack of the blues, nor a twinge in an ankle. If I go on, I am in danger.
I appealed before for mass help to get all the donations caught up with, to get books and christmas cards out for Christmas. I will try to do what I can so this can happen.
I have to shut streetreads down for a while. While I try to recover some health. While I think how streetreads can be run without killing me or anyone else. A more formal system of volunteers is clearly needed. Recording of books has to be rethought. Most importantly finding a place of our own. Probably many other things need to be changed that I haven’t even thought of.
Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I write this. But this is not goodbye. I care too much for our readers for it to be goodbye. I’ll see you guys soon. I love you all.