The number of homeless people is increasing, and some of them will turn to the local church for help. It can be hard to know how to help because homeless people often have multiple needs, and accessing support services is complicated. The purpose of these pages are to help churches respond to this growing need safely and effectively.
There are many reasons why people lose their home. It may be through relationship breakdown, physical or mental illness, debt, addiction, or simply the end of a tenancy. There are also those who grew up in an abusive household or in care, and have never had a truly safe and secure place to call home. Every homeless person is an individual with their own unique story. It is important to show an interest, and listen to them.
Information on helping people at different stages of homelessness: from those about to be evicted, to the long-term rough sleepers who call asking for money. It also gives advice on personal safety, and practical ways in which your church can help.
We encourage churches to discuss how they can best help homeless people, collectively and as individuals. It is advisable to prepare for homeless callers, to be aware of local services and how to access them, to draw up a personal safety plan, and to agree rules for behaviour and managing expectations.
The Homelessness Reduction Act
The Homelessness Reduction Act came into force in April 2018 and midified and extended previous homelessness protection in a number of ways.
Contact Details for Local Sources of Help
Many people do not qualify for help from the council but the council will still give them advice. Find some useful contacts for local agencies and supportive organisations from counselling to debt advice in the document below.