MEET FRIENDS Solomon Smith and Mahamed Hashi, the founders of a soup kitchen in south London.
The pair, aged 30 and 31 respectively, set up Brixton Soup Kitchen in 2013 after seeing the amount of homeless people on the streets their hometown, and as their slogan states, they wanted to help “rebuild the community”.
Solomon told The Voice: “When I was younger I used to go to school in Southwark and along the way, I always saw a lot of homeless people.
“So I used to always take my mum’s cooking. We haven’t got a big family, but she would always cook a lot of food, so I would put some in the container and take it out for the homeless eat every morning.”
Solomon met fellow youth worker Mahamed when he finished university and the friends launched an outreach service for homeless people giving out clothes and hot drinks – using their own money and relying on donations from friends.
Having originally financed the soup Kitchen out of their own pockets, the centre now receives help from established food businesses, such as Sainsbury’s and Nando’s
As well as offering food, the Brixton Soup Kitchen, which secured charity status in 2014, also provides support with benefits, housing, CV-writing, confidence-building and helping the homeless back into housing and full-time work.
Soloman has received offers to expand the soup kitchen to nearby Oval and Southwark.