Homelessness

Bridging the gap between churches and professionals: the complexity of compassion #3

There are now over 100 night shelter schemes in the country where groups of churches work together to provide accommodation - last year these schemes helped an estimated 6000 homeless people. Alongside this there are the many soup kitchens, drop in centres and huge amount of informal one-to-one support that many church communities provide. But… Continue reading Bridging the gap between churches and professionals: the complexity of compassion #3

Homelessness

Carrying burdens, maintaining boundaries: the complexity of compassion #2

One of the most important truths I have learnt from the last 25 years of working with people is this: we cannot change other people unless they want to change. Its important that we remember this truth because helping people with complex problems is in itself complex.  Accepting this reality helps us avoid the twin… Continue reading Carrying burdens, maintaining boundaries: the complexity of compassion #2

Homelessness

The need for grace and truth: the complexity of compassion #1

When I was in my twenties, I lived in Kings Cross and went to a local church. There, I got to know a man who was a former crack addict - we'll call him Ian. He was doing his best to put his life back together and get into work as a painter and decorator.… Continue reading The need for grace and truth: the complexity of compassion #1

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

Social action

Authentic change does not come easily – a weekend retreat October 5-7th, 2018

In the last 20 years there has been a significant rise in Christian social action projects and initiatives to combat poverty. Foodbanks, night shelters and debt-relief such as Christians Against Poverty, have grown at a remarkable rate. But in the enthusiasm for social activism, we cannot deny a central fact: change does not come easily.… Continue reading Authentic change does not come easily – a weekend retreat October 5-7th, 2018

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