The North Wind Shall Blow…
And where do you go if you are homeless? In Derby, the situation with the City Council cutting the number of beds for homeless people from over 500 to about 150 has provided an opportunity for churches to work together to step in the gap.
The cuts have left many with no option but to sleep rough in dangerous conditions as weather worsens. Mark Moore who became homeless due to a sequence of events ended up at Osmaston (Ozzy) Road Baptist
Church, Derby and was warmly welcomed and invited to the home groups without judgement being passed on him. It was a turning point in his life and the encouragement and help enabled him to be reunited with his wife and get a job again.
This winter the Derby City Mission are working together with seven churches which include Ozzy Road and Pear Tree Road Baptist Churches to provide somewhere for people to stay over the four coldest months of the year.
The Revd Graham Watkins of Ozzy Road said, 'We are determined to make sure the project runs for the time we originally wanted it to – until March. People are raising money in all kinds of ways to supplement what we already have. We will find a way because it is so important we do this. We need experienced staff because some of the guests will have complex problems and need advice and support for their ongoing homelessness.'
Mark Moore is also determined to become involved with the night shelter that the Derby City Mission, also in Charnwood Street, has organised and has put himself forward as a volunteer. He would like to help out with the catering, because he was originally a chef and he just wants to say a great big thank-you to everyone who has helped him.
Chandra Morbey, Derby Churches Nightshelter coordinator, said that some homeless people are real characters but they are really determined to change their lives for the better. 'It's because of people like Mark that have had no hope and nowhere to go, but are now turning their lives around, that the night shelter will be so useful.'
Picture: RGB Stock