‘Harbouring the harbourless’, or sheltering the homeless, is a core focus area. It gives us the opportunity to work closely with the most disadvantaged people in our communities and make a real difference to their lives and their future.
Often homeless people are shunned or feared. We forget that, but for the grace of God, we could be the ones with no home to go to and nowhere to wash, clutching a small plastic bag containing everything we own in the world, and wondering where we can safely spend the night.
Because we’ve never experienced life on the streets for ourselves, we have little understanding of the struggles homeless people face. We assume that they are there by choice. And that if they wanted to improve their situation, they would clean up and find a job.
The fact is that homeless people often don’t know who to turn to for help. They are afraid and alone in a world that barely notices them.
People living on the streets are at risk of becoming victims of crime. They may turn to drugs or alcohol in order to block out their situation, or be forced into prostitution in order to survive.
In almost all cases, they need a lot of support to find suitable shelter, and be rehabilitated back into society.
Our role as Christians is not to judge – but to provide the support they so desperately need. SSVP runs parish based shelters and works with other NGOs offering these facilities.
You may not be able to visit the streets and bridges where the homeless live. But you can still reach out to them through SSVP, by making a contribution towards this aspect of our work. Your caring will help turn lives around.