Last year, there were 440 reported deaths of rough sleepers – and yet more that will have gone unrecorded.
The number of homeless people in England is increasing, but thanks to you, we have been able to reach and help more of them this year. This winter, for the first time, we gave grants to homeless people who had to turn to a local church shelter to survive the cold winter nights.
Without the warm beds and food provided by church night shelters, there would be many more deaths.
Preventing death costs little
Every guest has a different story to tell. They each became homeless for a different reason, and have different needs. But what they do have in common is that they can’t pay for the basics they need to get back on their feet, find work, and get somewhere to live.
That is why your donations make a huge difference to people like Thomas.
Thomas was sleeping rough after his relationship broke down. While staying at a shelter, he asked for funding for a construction industry safety certificate (CSCS). He explained:
“My benefits have been substantially reduced recently and this makes it difficult to afford the card subscription.
“This would make a massive difference to my circumstances as it would mean I could work.”
Jesus told us that in His Father’s house there are many rooms, and that He has gone to prepare a place for us, just as the shelter volunteers have done for the most needy this winter. We have used this theme of welcome for our Lent prayer card, which you can download here. We hope that the card will inspire you to thank God for his great kindness to us, and help you to think how we can share this with others.