Homelessness

Homelessness: have we lost our Christianity in our caring? 24th April, central London

Christian distinctiveness in helping people who are homeless Many churches acknowledge the importance of helping people who are homeless. Nationwide there are over 100 Night Shelter networks and churches make up the vast majority of the venues. Also many of the larger, established homeless agencies have Christian roots. But, confidently integrating faith alongside our practical… Continue reading Homelessness: have we lost our Christianity in our caring? 24th April, central London

Homelessness

My cousin and the bitter cost of drug addiction

This weekend, I was on the BBC1 programme Sunday Morning Live (see on BBC iPlayer, 24 mins in) discussing homelessness and begging. I was on the programme because I disagree with the view of journalist Matt Broomfield who believes people should give 'directly and unconditionally' to people who are begging. Experience  My views on this issue have been… Continue reading My cousin and the bitter cost of drug addiction

Homelessness

No one can take steps for others on the hard road of recovery

My daughter and I have just got back from WLM's Sleep Out held last night in the grounds of St James’ Church, Piccadilly. It was an uplifting evening. 82 supporters gave up their bed for the night to sleep out and (so far) we have raised £35,000 for our work to bring rough sleepers in from… Continue reading No one can take steps for others on the hard road of recovery

Homelessness

Hope in action (even if you’re little you can do a lot)

Recently I was contacted by a Mum whose 5 year old daughter wanted to do something to help homeless people. What struck me was that their family situation is not at all easy - the daughter has additional needs and the family don't have a permanent home themselves at the moment and are staying with relatives.… Continue reading Hope in action (even if you’re little you can do a lot)

Homelessness

A soft-touch? Why Christians need to stop being doormats

My recent article on Why Pope Francis is wrong about begging was re-posted on the popular Christian blog Psephizo and a number of church leaders commented on the challenge that this issue poses for them. It again reminded me of how churches, vicarages and manses are at the front line of this issue because of… Continue reading A soft-touch? Why Christians need to stop being doormats

Homelessness

‘Dossers’ who choose to sleep rough and the ‘professional weepers’ who care: ‘The Sun’ on homelessness in 1990

I was clearing out some old paperwork this week at the West London Mission and I found some fascinating old newspaper clippings relating to homelessness. One clipping particularly struck me. It was from The Sun, March 1990. It starts: IT's time we stopped feeling guilty about the plight of dossers sleeping rough on our streets.  Professional weepers… Continue reading ‘Dossers’ who choose to sleep rough and the ‘professional weepers’ who care: ‘The Sun’ on homelessness in 1990

Homelessness

Personal tragedy and political failure: remembering homeless people who have died in the past year

The annual service to commemorate homeless people who have died in the past year was held today at packed St Martins-in-the-Fields church, central London.   As part of the service, The Choir with No Name and Streetwise Opera performed songs and the names of 160 homeless people who have died in the past year were… Continue reading Personal tragedy and political failure: remembering homeless people who have died in the past year

Homelessness

‘It has saved me from a whole heap of misery’: one night sleeping rough to help bring others in from the cold

On Friday night, 40 people slept outside on cardboard in the churchyard of St James' Church Piccadilly in central London.  I was there, along with my Mum (75), son (13), daughter (8), as well as my brother and two nieces. It was noisy and cold, and sightings of rats scurrying nearby did not exactly help any of us sleep… Continue reading ‘It has saved me from a whole heap of misery’: one night sleeping rough to help bring others in from the cold

Homelessness

What would the prophet Amos say to Donald Trump?

One of my favourite parts of my job is when I am asked to facilitate the spirituality discussion group at West London Mission's Day Centre for homeless people.  We see around a hundred rough sleepers every day who come in for breakfasts, showers, medical help and appointments with our team. The spirituality discussion group meets every Tuesday. At… Continue reading What would the prophet Amos say to Donald Trump?

Homelessness

Now is the time to make our voice heard about the scandal of homelessness

I live in Streatham, a residential area in south London and every day I walk the short distance to my local train station to go to work. Last week, just near the station, I saw a man huddled up, sleeping in the telephone box.  It was bitterly cold and he looked horribly uncomfortable. I was… Continue reading Now is the time to make our voice heard about the scandal of homelessness