Catholics in the UK make a response to the plight of homeless people
It’s a very common sight to see homeless people sleeping rough in our UK towns and cities. There are many charities throughout the country which aim to support homeless people in various ways. New initiatives are growing up beside long standing ones as the problem of homelessness and poverty grows in our society. Sr Mary Brennan RSC is involved in a charity which is a new initiative in response to the number of people living on the streets:
This is an event which is being pioneered by some of the St. Vincent de Paul members in the Birkenhead area at present.
It consists of the use of Thompson’s Mission building on a monthly basis to provide the Homeless people of Birkenhead with a 3 course hot meal and also warm clothing. All this is done by a group of volunteers and Sr. Mary Brennan is part of the group. The meals are cooked by the volunteers and most of it is brought into the Centre. It is an attempt to break down the social isolation felt by so many homeless people. Over the past few meetings about 35 people were given a hot meal and some clothing. Things are moving as the people get to know the volunteers and they are sharing their stories. They are very grateful and a lot want to stay and chat. There is provision for Official night Shelter in Birkenhead and this is well used, but it is during the day that the homeless experience loneliness having no where to go. Plans are now moving to develop the outreach.
Acton Homeless Concern
Another Sister of Charity, Sr Madeleine McCann, is also working with homeless people helping to provide meals for up to 200 people at the Emmaus Centre in Acton, West London. Acton Homeless Concern is a drop-in day centre for homeless people and people from other disadvantaged groups. There, the opportunity for a shower, clean clothes and advice is also provided.
This charity is twenty seven years old and so has developed a comprehensive strategy to try to meet as many of the needs of those it serves as possible.
Sr Brigid Kelly