Our blog this week is a thank you to our network of partner churches and their wonderful volunteers. They are offering love and hospitality to those experiencing homelessness. People are connecting who would never otherwise have metChurches are adapting to the pandemic. Relationships are developing beyond church walls. Where they can, volunteers are inviting tenants to bubble. 

When lockdown came first timewe were all struggling with loss of control. Many of our volunteers shared their worries about how tenants would cope. One explained, “I don’t want isolation and lockdown to kick him into not connecting with anyone.”  

It has been hard for our volunteers not being able to do what they love in the way they would normallyListening in our new online training events, we are in awe of the initiatives being takenVolunteers have implemented things that mean tenants find it easier to connectJust sending a text before phoning can encourage someone to answer the call. 

Hope into Action is about creating a space for church volunteers to support the homeless in the way they most feel able. From a bunch of flowers and a card to a regular phone call offering a listening ear. Whatever the action, because of a church volunteer, someone knows they are cared for.  

Here’s how just a handful of churches have been putting hope into action across the country in the last few weeks. Thank you Churches! 

In Eastbourne, a young woman was sleeping in her broken-down car. Thanks to the swift actions of a local partner church, we were able to provide her a homeDespite the urgency, the church volunteers have been great getting things ready and helping her settle in.  

Since moving into his Hope into Action house in Bristol, Len has not engaged in any drug use. He thanks his amazing volunteer mentor and the church leader, Richard. Len says he is no longer prepared to live in pain and suffering and that he is now able to open the door of faith, to walk through it and into a full life.  

We have just handed over the keys to our fourth house in Portsmouth to a refugee mum and baby. The church volunteer team made everything ready. They had thought of lots of extra touches to make it welcoming, from coat hangers to chocolates to planting up the tubs in the back garden with pansies.    

Hope into Action Mid-Sussex had the joy of moving in a refugee family into their 4th house too. The family were blown away by their home. Even more by the bundle of cards, bunches of flowers and gifts for the children from the church whom they have never met. 

Our newest tenant in Cambridge is a young man about to become a dad for the first time. He spent a morning getting to know his 3 church befrienders at a local café before contact was restricted again because of coronavirus. The church moved him into his safe, secure home before another national lockdownAnd just 2 days before his baby was born!  

The tenant asked for prayers for his new son and girlfriend in their mum and baby unit – for their protection and good health. He says the last week has all been very overwhelming for him. He has been so thankful for the love and kindness he has already received from the partner church, the other tenant in the house and the Cambridge team. He feels he is going to be well supported over the next few months.  

Contact us if you would like to know more about how your church can house the homeless?