FOR THE CITY: HOMELESSNESS
In this blog post, Abbi Morgan writes about her plan to reach out to homeless people in Portsmouth.
"None of us can help everyone, but all of us can help someone" - Max Lucado
Have you ever felt completely powerless when walking past a homeless person on the street? Maybe you've given them the lone 50p in your coat pocket or you rummaged to the depths of your bag to offer them the slightly bruised banana you didn't eat for lunch. But in your heart you long to do more - so much more. It’s a very familiar feeling, not just for me, but many others too.
I was talking about this very issue recently with a friend of mine, and we felt compelled to do something. There are so many amazing organisations in Portsmouth who support the street community and those sleeping rough, but we felt inspired by the words of Bryan Stephenson who recently spoke at the HTB leadership conference about getting close up to the poor, the lost and the marginalised.
Although I have heard people speak about homelessness as a problem that needs fixing, I want to remember that anyone sleeping on the streets or without a permanent home is a brother, sister and friend who needs support in a tough time. The church - our church - is uniquely positioned for such a time as this, to be that helping hand that pushes them to unlock their true potential.
This, of course, starts with building relationships. Its through connecting with people and showing them God’s love that we can show people that they are valuable, loved, and not forgotten about. I believe we have an opportunity as a church to get to know homeless people in Portsmouth, to love them and hopefully to help them develop a brighter and more secure future.
In 2016, homelessness in Portsmouth doubled and is still rising today. Wouldn't it be amazing to see these figures decrease as lives are restored? We are still in the early stages of the project, but already have some exciting ideas to make a difference in our community. I'm so looking forward to what God has in store for this mission and pray that we as a church come alongside the homeless of Portsmouth and are able to make a difference to their lives for the better.
As Jean Vanier says: "We are simply human beings, enfolded in weakness and in hope, called together to change our world one heart at a time”.
If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved come along to The Ten on Sunday where there will be more info.