Remember the homeless and take action
Every night, thousands of people in England face a terrible nightmare - the sheer terror of sleeping on the street. And Norwich
is no exception with hundreds accepted as homeless each year.
Homelessness Sunday on January 28, offers an opportunity for churches to think about the issues involved and express support for those involved in tackling the growing problem.
A number of Christian agencies and churches in the city are already engaged in addressing the issues: the Salvation Army-run ARC Day Centre in Pottergate, the St Martin's Housing Trust and Julian Housing to mention a few.
Maybe the best known is YMCA Norfolk which is marking 150 years of helping the homeless, and currently houses around 90 young people in its hostel on St Giles in the city centre.
John Drake, chief executive of YMCA Norfolk, said: “Homelessness has not gone away, it’s just better at hiding itself and that is a tragedy. It is a growing trend, not only in Norwich, but throughout the country. Our hostel is still full every night of the year and we need better facilities for people.”
The YMCA has ambitious plans to help tackle the problem and has plans to build two new homeless centres. It is also seeking support from local Christian churches and groups for its work to mark the 150th anniversary.
Homelessness Sunday on January 28 is a day for churches to set aside to consider the issue and what part they can play in combating it.
Last year churches marked Homelessness Sunday with special services, sleep outs, bed-hops, art exhibitions, collections of sleeping bags, blankets and starter pack items and by raising money through sponsorship and appeals.
The Homelessness Sunday Partnership 2007 have produced an informative, useful resource pack, full of a mix of facts, examples, worship materials and ideas. The pack is based on the Bible readings for the day.
To order a Resource Pack visit www.homelessness-sunday.org.uk
If you would like someone from YMCA Norfolk, to come and talk to your church members about its work and future plans then contact John Drake on 01603 630049 or 07850 682683 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org