We have now started to distribute sleeping bags in Basildon, Essex where there is a very real need even though the local council play down the homeless problem in their town. Here is the story of our first night
We arranged to meet at St Martins Church Basildon. We were introduced to a couple of homeless people and we discussed the problems that they were having. Gradually more people turned up. At 18:30 Dougie & Pat (the Leaders) arrived in their car, after getting all their equipment from their vehicle, prayers of thanks were given and everybody was happy to take part.
Most of the people present were very young. They had hot pasta, cake and tea which was distributed to everyone with the help of other helpers. We were told that this was churches working together in Basildon.
The distribution of food happens outside the church three times a week and on this occasion twelve people were in attendance. On occasions we were told that up to twenty eight people had been present.
We discussed the problem of drug & alcohol with the homeless of Basildon and it soon became very clear that they were facing very similar issues as AUOS has seen at Westminster & Ilford. We distributed twelve sleeping bags (to the leaders)
After long discussions we finished the evening with prayers of thanks and praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. On the way home we agreed that this would be a good distribution site as there is a definite need in Basildon.