Ed Walker, Executive Director, reflects on Hope into Action Conference 2022.

This conference was about something bigger than Hope into Action.

It was to ‘inspire and equip’ anyone in the country involved in or passionate about, ‘churches’, ‘housing’ ‘the homeless’.

It’s been 3 years since our last. In the interim we’ve had Brexit, the pandemic and now a war in Ukraine. Our world has changed and we’ve all been through so much. So too have men, women and children experiencing homelessness and war – it has been extremely challenging for them. Churches, also, have experienced a highly traumatic two years, with church leaders dealing with enormous pressures.

And so we welcomed guests wholeheartedly to our conference. Church leaders, those with experience of homelessness or violence and everyone else. 

Of course the conference couldn’t avoid, in part, being a celebration of Hope into Action. Over the past 3 years, through these challenges, we’ve continued to grow. Churches are now running Hope into Action homes in over 30 towns - with space for over 320 tenants!!! This is good news. It is our unfolding story but ultimately it’s God’s story as he continues to bless and grow a network of churches who hear His call to offer a gospel of hospitality, grace, love and homes to ‘the poor wanderer’.

We believe God reveals his heart when we listen to those who have experienced life as refugees or homeless. Jesus himself identified as ‘The Son of Man [who] has no place to lay his head.’ At our conference over 25 people, from a place of dignity, shared their experience of homelessness! As one ex-tenant said to me, now 4 years sober: ‘‘I need to be there to show people that what you do works!’

We were excited to listen attentively. We trust we hear God when we do!  With Government focus and resources stretched and the pressures on those vulnerable to homelessness increasing (refugees arriving, inflation, NI rises) now is the time for churches to realise their resources in providing the homeless with a home. We hope that our conference will have encourage you to believe that you and/ or your church can do something holistic, relational, sacrificial to help men and women recover from the experience of refuge and homelessness.

Whether you could join us on the day or not, we hope that you will be touched, that your faith will rise and you’ll be moved to fight the injustice of homelessness.

If you feel moved to join us in this work any way, then we would love to hear from you. 

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