John had a degree in chemistry and a job that used his skills and experience. His employers were sympathetic to the needs of their employees, and tried hard to accommodate John’s mental ill-health but they parted company when he became unable to do his work and was in a mental hospital under a section.
Around this time John visited and told us he blamed his plight on past drug misuse that had permanently affected the way his brain worked.
His face comes to mind when I am approached by beggars or homeless people: would giving them money be giving bread or a stone? (Matthew 7:9) Another question: would I give my son money in the near-certain knowledge that it would be spent on mind-altering drugs? (Thank God he has more sense.) But at least I can trust ‘Catching Lives’ to use my donations to provide nourishment, support and shelter.
It is open throughout December, January and February, in partnership with 7 churches in Canterbury and provides overnight accommodation for rough sleepers to shelter from the cold weather, and to work with staff and volunteers to find more permanent housing.
- Kitchen volunteers to help cook and serve supper for the shelter guests.
- Evening volunteers to welcome the guests in, play board games, chat, etc.
- Overnight volunteers to support the paid staff at the church halls.
- Volunteers to take bedding to and from the church halls in mornings and evenings.
No-one can claim this is the answer to a complex web of problems, but it is bread, not stones.