I have been working in homeless services for over 15 years, and since March I have seen a real difference in services. From day one of lockdown we saw agencies across the sector really coming together. I was asked to help manage a hotel for people who have been rough-sleeping within the ‘Everyone In’ government programme. This was initially for 45 people with complex needs. We worked with the hotel, mental health services, substance misuse team, doctors, police, faith groups and charities.
This was an amazing time of relationship building and of seeing people’s lives becoming more settled through being given a safe place to stay and being supported by people who care. I was very aware of God keeping me strong and peaceful during this busy time as I worked with our guests.
I can remember one of the guests said to me: “Lockdown saved me from life on the streets. It’s just having that connection with people in the hotel. I ain’t going back to the streets. I’m looking forward to the future in a place of my own”.
Eleanor manages a provision for people experiencing homelessness in Manchester, which is supported by the city’s Methodist Central Hall. To find out more about the Methodist Church’s work on issues such as homelessness, or to download the JPIT Advent resources which relate to today’s reflection, please click here.
The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) is made up of the Baptist Union, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church, working together for peace and justice. JPIT works to: equip Christians to act and pray on issues of injustice, resource churches to reflect and campaign effectively, and help churches to speak out with a distinctively Christian voice on injustice.