Today (October 10th) is World Homeless Day which seeks to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness.
This has always been the aim of Churches Homeless Action. We continue to work with local churches and voluntary groups in partnership with local charities and agencies in seeking to understand and respond to the local needs and issues.
One of our main projects has become over the year the Christmas Voucher scheme.
This seeks to help people recognize that homelessness is not just the image most people have of a rough sleeper, but affects a wide cross section of people. It ranges from young families in temporary accommodation to those who sleep rough; from young people who have had to leave home to those fleeing domestic abuse as individuals or as a family; from those seeking refuge in our country to those who are living with mental health issues. There are some things which unite all of these which is that they are people and not simply statistics or ‘problems to be solved’ and many of them have little or no choice in their lives.
The scheme is a simple way to show our respect and care for these families and individuals by sharing with them a personal greeting in a Christmas card, and to give them the precious gift of the ability to chose what we have.
(which so many of us take for granted).
Over the next couple of weeks we will be issuing our leaflets and posters in an electronic form via email – if you would like to receive hard copies then please contact us .
But in the meantime we wanted to use this World Homeless Day to encourage you to pause and think about how you can respond to the needs of local people – and perhaps plan how you and your community can support this year’s Voucher scheme.
Details of how to send us vouchers and cards will be the material (but for those familiar with the scheme is the same as previous years)
and we would like to invite you and the agencies we support to a Carol Sing In at St Mary’s Church in Fratton Road on Friday Dec 20th at Noon – where we will distribute all that has been collected.
With best wishes
Revd Canon Bob White
Vicar of St Mary’s , Portsea and Area Dean of Portsmouth
St Mary’s Vicarage
023 92 822687
Churches Homeless Action Voucher Scheme 2019 will support :
Catherine Booth House (The Salvation Army)
- Providing support for Homeless Families.
Friends Without Borders
- Support for asylum seekers whilst their applications are processed
Hope House (Two Saints)
- Provides night beds for Rough Sleepers
Portsmouth Churches Housing Association
- Runs three hostels for homeless young families and single women
Portsmouth Foyer and All Saints Hostel (Two Saints)
- Supported accommodation for young people
- Supports over 1000 families in the Portsmouth area with a variety of needs
Society of St James
- Outreach work with homeless people not engaging with other services and a Day Centre
Stop Domestic Abuse
- Provides refuge accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic abuse in Portsmouth, Havant, Fareham and Gosport
St Simon’s Church
- Provides Sunday Suppers and support for homeless people
- Providing services and care for homeless people in Gosport Fareham Havant and Portsmouth
- A drop-in for people near Albert Road, whose lives are affected by homelessness and addiction, offering hot meals and clothing