Holding out the light
of hope... part 2
Saskia Scott, Lay Chaplain
In last month’s article, I wrote about the Homelessness Memorial service held at St George’s Cathedral on 21 June and my reflection on darkness giving way to light and hope arising out of times of great grief, distress and hardship. This month, with Homelessness Week on the immediate horizon, we can pause to reflect on a world that often seems bustling and thriving, but it is important to remember that not everyone shares the same fortune.
Homelessness is an issue that impacts countless individuals worldwide, and it demands our collective attention and compassion. As Homelessness Week approaches, St. Bart's prepares to step forward as a beacon of hope and compassion.
Homelessness Week is an annual event that will take place from 7-14 August this year. It aims to raise awareness about homelessness and the issues surrounding it, providing a platform for communities, organisations, and individuals to unite in their efforts to address this pressing problem.
St Bart's has been at the forefront of homelessness support in the community for 60 years. Our unwavering dedication to helping people at risk of or experiencing homelessness transcends mere charity; it encompasses genuine care and a drive to enact lasting change. By providing accommodation and support services, St. Bart's tackles the immediate needs of those without a home. However, our commitment goes beyond that.
During Homelessness Week, we put a spotlight on the true faces of homelessness – real people with stories, aspirations, and dreams. Homelessness is not a distant issue but a complex and interconnected problem that could potentially impact any one of us.
Throughout the week, events will be held to educate the community and raise awareness about homelessness. These events include informative workshops, engaging panel discussions, and heartfelt testimonies from individuals who have experienced homelessness first-hand. St Bart’s will be sharing stories and talking about the true realities of homelessness to break down stereotypes and stigmas, fostering a more compassionate and understanding society.
We will be collaborating with local businesses to engage a broader audience. By involving various stakeholders, we hope to galvanise collective action and increase the wider public’s understanding of homelessness.
During Homelessness Week, let us join hands with St Bart's and countless other organisations to confront homelessness head-on. By understanding the challenges faced by people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, we can work together to implement sustainable solutions and create a world where everyone has a place to call home. Together, we can shine a light on homelessness and transform lives for the better.
Sleeping rough on long winter nights is the reality for many people experiencing homelessness, and so St Bart’s together with St George’s Cathedral chose this time to remember those who have lost their lives while, or shortly after, experiencing homelessness.