The Care Centre continues to try and adapt to the changes in the UK right now. We remain ‘open’ Monday through to Thursday from noon to 4pm, serving through the shutter doors to the homeless and those in need in the city.
Every day we are seeing between 40-60 guests with varying needs and trying to help in whatever way we can, including a warm meal and a seemingly endless supply of tea, coffee and hot chocolate. We’re truly blessed with the donations we receive from various individuals and organisations but we would always welcome more. Disposable cups in particular! We continue to help with accommodation, benefits and referrals to other agencies who are more specialised in working with those in the grips of addiction and those with significant mental health issues.
First and foremost, we always talk about the good news of the Bible and it’s been encouraging to see the level of engagement with many of the guests. We have welcomed Anna-Maria and Eric from the Evangelism Team to join us for one day a week to assist in serving and proclaiming God’s truth. Plans are in place for us to have a Bible group in the building one afternoon a week for those who are seeking to know more. This will also be the first test for us in terms of safely opening the building for guests to come inside.
We value your prayers for this and, as the weather turns, for plans to fully re-open the building and the complexities with social distancing that involves. In addition, a decision has been made to change the opening times from evenings to afternoons for the foreseeable future. There is no shortage of free food on the streets for the guests in the evening but there is a lack of anywhere to go in the daytime. It is also significantly easier for us to source accommodation and speak to other charities during office hours. There are many complications ahead with homelessness, particularly regarding night shelters. Most have already chosen not to operate this coming winter. We may be forced into making the same decision but we are working closely with several other churches and charities to work out the best way forward.
As always, if you have any questions regarding homelessness or how you can help as an individual or church, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Bagnall, Care Centre Manager