Hope Into Action: An amazing response, will you join in?
This time last year we were asking for your prayers for our financial situation. With a significant deficit (in the year ending 04/17), it was the biggest financial challenge Hope into Action had faced.
Our main concern was that we would have to halt our programme of opening new homes and working with churches to meet the relationship needs of those in desperate situations. Take Scott (name changed) for example, who told us how he values the help from the team Hope into Action:
“When you’re living rough, you can either live on the streets where you beg, but you get somebody like me that feels ashamed, you hide yourself away rather than beg.
I came out of hiding to get food from the soup kitchen. And from there I was in a church, I was asked If I’d had any help. I hadn’t so I met a guy called Steve, and Paddy who, with a church, gave me a home.
But you can talk to anyone at Hope into Action and the church. …. They are there to help and they don’t judge you which is fantastic.”
Thanks to the amazing response of our supporters, not only have we been able to maintain support like this in all our city teams and churches, but you have enabled us to grow from 38 to 57 homes and now partner with 51 churches, with over 150 tenants sleeping in the homes!!
We see an answer to prayers in the grants and gifts we received. 3 people donated us £10,000 ......plus gift aid!!! Every single gift, however large or small makes a difference to people like Scott and we have so many other great stories also!
Our main concern now is to maintain that same quality in every home so every church and every tenant gets the same experience from us. So we are delighted when this is recognised, for example, by The Guardian who voted us the best housing project in the country.
We have 12 houses and churches in the pipeline - yet more churches and investors showing solidarity and love to the homeless. With your support, we plan to end this next financial year approaching 70 homes. Each of them being a safe haven for people experiencing homelessness like Scott. “I’m just trying to move forward,” he says.
This is wonderful and we are excited to be able to forge ahead too: we believe we have the systems to grow efficiently but, combined with new legislation to data, Housing benefit and homelessness it will require investment in staff and volunteers to progress.
We were so encouraged by the response to our prayer email last year that, as we embark on a new financial year, with new gaps in our budget (C£40,000), we are asking for your prayers once again please. In particular that we would maintain our quality and God would provide for our needs!