Over he last couple of weeks we have given out 16 sleeping bags at Church Without Walls Westminster alone. Here are some of the stories of the people we have met and given bags to.
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Inspired by recent articles in Dutch newspapers illustrating the growing issue of homelessness in the city, over 15,000 and counting, a wider conversation opened up within the agency that presented the question 'What can we do to help?' Immediately, 'A Piggy Bank For the Homeless', an awareness and fundraising campaign designed to help tackle the homeless issue head-on, was born.
On Saturday 7th June a group going to Church Without Walls Westminster, saw two guys sleeping under blankets in a doorway they stopped and offered the guys sleeping bags and sandwiches, when giving out any sleeping bags the team always make it clear that God loves the person and that the sleeping bags are a gift from Jesus, the team members also always pray with anyone receiving the bags
Last March on a very cold dark morning we arrived a Church Without Walls Ilford and found a man late twenties huddled under the bridge, lets call him Ben. Ben was cold and wet, we put a fleece on him gave him a hot egg and a sandwich. As we talked with him we realised he came from Havering area and we contacted Kim, Hope4Havering. We took him to our local cafe where he had a hot breakfast then took him to Kim's house,
In the last year we have given away sleeping bags, fleece tops, and other items to people on the streets either directly or through our steadily increasing group of partners. These are the numbers.
628 Sleeping Bags
162 Bags Of Hope
Lantern Of Hope is our new outreach programme where a group of volunteers go out onto the streets after midnight until the early hours looking for people who are sleeping on the streets in need of a sleeping bag to provide them with one to fulfill an immediate need.
This is the story of our first night:
Since we began, over 1,530 sleeping bags have been given to needy homeless people in and around London. They are in popular demand and many new people turn up each week at Church Without Walls in Westminster and llford.
A couple of recipients have walked many miles to these outreach posts to obtain a life- saving sleeping bag. A member of the team prays with each person as they receive a bag and we have seen many answers to prayer.