On Thursday 7th March over 430 people gathered for Hope into Action's Annual Conference. There were supporters and investors, volunteers and staff, tenants and ex-tenants, church and charity leaders, and many others gathering to be empowered by God to house people affected by homelessness across the UK.

"Today you're not here just to attend a conference, but we're inviting you to become part of Hope into Action's story." 

- Jon Kuhrt, CEO

We're full of thankful gratitude to God, and full of faith for all the good that will come out of the conference. Here are three takeaways from the day:

1. We're a people of hope

Natalie Williams from Jubilee+ joined us as our keynote speaker, challenging each of us to play our role in changing our society. Our values lead us to love and cherish people in a radical way.

"Jesus chooses people differently; He doesn't look at what the world values. Jesus looks at the heart, because the Kingdom of God is an upside down Kingdom"

- Natalie Williams

Each of us has a vital role to play in seeking the transformation of our community, our nation and the lives of those around us. Despite the stark statistics laying bare the depth of the housing crisis- a 27% rise in street homelessness and more people than ever in emergency accommodation- we believe that the church can be empowered to make a significant difference in these tough times.

2. Our tenant's incredible transformations

The annual tenant awards are a celebration of the people who matter most in our work. We were able to celebrate incredible stories of freedom from addiction, sustained employment, restored relationships and so much more.

Our recent tenant outcomes report shows that 81% of our tenants have maintained or improved their financial situation, 37% are in employment, 89% of tenants who formerly misused drugs and alcohol have reduced their intake, 92% of those who have served time in custody did not reoffend. This highlights the transformation taking place in our tenants lives.

Some of the tenants shared their reflections on winning awards, and their raw, honest stories caught the hearts of everyone in attendance:

  • "I came into Hope into Action without hope. And I’ve been empowered to change my life. My life is beyond my wildest dreams today"

  • "God has replaced the bits that the locusts have chewed off"

  • "In two weeks time I'll be four years clean, thanks to the Hope into Action team and my friends at Trent Vineyard."

3. Staying connected to the source

Jon, while reflecting on his first year with us, said "The biggest thing I’ve learnt over the last year is how vital it is to stay connected to the source, to Jesus. This is the heartbeat of our organization."

Gathering from across the UK in faith that God will continue to transform lives was a joy for all of us.

This year, we're partnering with four new franchises across the UK to enable local churches to house those affected by homelessness in their community.

Find out more about how you can support these franchises and Empower Hope this Easter.