It is said that in our communities there are so many people, mostly men, who are homeless and sleeping rough. ‘Sleeping rough’ is such a simple phrase to write but so tough for those concerned and involved in sleeping in a dangerous hostile place. In the big cities there are actual physical dangers. Their precious few belongings can be stolen, they can be physically threatened with a knife or other weapon. In my area it involves sleeping in a shop doorway or being in the park with a tent which is often not strong enough to withstand the harsh weather.

The road to homelessness can have many different routes – addictions, mental illness, ejection from the family home, waywardness or leaving the forces or prison. Some sufferers will have mental illness or a low I.Q. which means they haven’t the capacity to cope. Sadly each year can see a deterioration in their stamina.

Jesus was often homeless and had ‘nowhere to lay His head.’ He was blessed in having many loving friends. What can we do for the homeless ? – so little. We can offer those who beg a drink or snack (not money, that can be used on drugs), we can support homeless charities, or talk to those who beg when we see them on the streets. Remember that ‘there but for the grace of God ………… .We need to include them in our prayers.

The Homeless

As I sit in my comfortable home, I think of those who have no home of their own, who sleep in tents or shop doorways and those who sofa-surf. I am blessed to belong to a church who try to help these people. Once a week we provide a meal for them. That is not all, we give them medical attention from professionals and financial direction for those who need it. Many of our visitors sit and play chess and other games.

To talk with these people can be an eye-opener. Many have had difficult starts in life and then turned to drugs or drink to ease their pain. They have never really had a good start. There has been no-one on hand to point them in the right direction or give them advice. To undo the years of harm and hardship is nearly impossible. We make it clear that everything we do is because of our love for God. Many have never known love. Whenever we cook a meal, serve it, give medical help or financial advice, we we do it all in the name of Jesus.