Homelessness

Hollywood homelessness & festive sentimentality

If you are involved with charity which helps people affected by homelessness, then you will be bracing yourself for the busiest time of the year. Whilst there remains huge challenges to reduce the numbers of people sleeping rough, the busyness of this season is not necessarily because the number of people coming to the services… Continue reading Hollywood homelessness & festive sentimentality

Homelessness, Social action

Faith which puts Hope into Action

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZSKiqr0iPk&t=48s I am excited to share that I have a new job. In January, I will be joining Hope into Action as their new Chief Executive. I have loved my work over the last 4 years, advising on how churches and faith groups respond to homelessness in the government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative. This period has seen… Continue reading Faith which puts Hope into Action

Homelessness, Theology

Farewell to Britain’s best public theologian

In the summer of 1997 I started a job with Centrepoint, the youth homelessness charity, as manager of a new hostel for young people in the City of London. One of the things I learnt on my first day was that it was going to be formally opened by the Queen. The official opening happened… Continue reading Farewell to Britain’s best public theologian

Homelessness, Social commentary

Rough sleeping & the inverse reality of social media

The plight of another human being sleeping rough is one of the most visceral and obvious expressions of poverty and social exclusion. The instinctive empathy it provokes makes rough sleeping a potent subject on social media. For example, a few years ago a video went viral which showed how Amazon Prime could be used to… Continue reading Rough sleeping & the inverse reality of social media

Homelessness, Recommended books & reviews

Charity Detox: the difference between crisis situations and chronic problems

Two months ago, I read US activist Robert Lupton’s book Toxic Charity: how churches and charities harm those they help. I have just finished his follow up book Charity Detox: What charity would look like if we cared about results. Lupton acknowledges the controversy stirred by his previous book but his views are forged by… Continue reading Charity Detox: the difference between crisis situations and chronic problems

Ethics & Christian living, Homelessness

Lazarus: friendship, trust and joy coming back to life

This week I was invited to speak at an event hosted by Lazarus, a new initiative to support people affected by homelessness which is launching in London. Lazarus runs communities made up of formerly homeless people living alongside young professionals. Over 250 people live in their communities across Northern Europe and Mexico. It is yet… Continue reading Lazarus: friendship, trust and joy coming back to life

Homelessness, Theology

The book which has most influenced how we respond to homeless people

This article is based on my lecture at a British Academy conference at Lincoln University on ‘Representing Homelessness’ where I spoke on ‘theological representation’. It is a matter of historical fact that a huge number of the charities established to address homelessness were set up by committed Christians. Some retain a strong link to their… Continue reading The book which has most influenced how we respond to homeless people

Homelessness

‘Everyone else was nice…but she told me the truth I needed to hear’

Ten years ago I was leading a seminar at the Greenbelt festival on homelessness with Housing Justice. We had arranged for an actor to interrupt the start of the session, pretending to be homeless and appeal to the 300-odd people in the venue for cash. We wanted to recreate something of the dilemma and tension… Continue reading ‘Everyone else was nice…but she told me the truth I needed to hear’