The Ghost of Christmas Past
Before coming to Hope into Action David spent 20 years on the streets (he became homeless after 5 years in the army) many of his Christmases were spent alone, cold and hungry. One Christmas David particularly remembers sitting in his tent in the rain, having withdrawals from drugs, with all his food wet and soggy. “I’ve never felt as alone as I did that Christmas, knowing families were together celebrating and eating, then later seeing everyone in their new clothes, having fun. Being on the streets you always feel invisible but Christmas day magnifies what you don’t have and intensifies the pain of the loneliness.” Then David met Hope into Action, we gave him a home and through the help and support of the local church his life began to change.
This Christmas is going to be a world apart from the past. David is full of excitement “I am settled in a home, reunited with my son (also homeless we moved him with his father) and we’ll be with my fiance and another good friend. Shortly after moving in with Hope into Action I finally gave up my relationship with drugs and, while it hasn’t always been easy, I have stayed clean all year. Without the friends from church – I am not sure I could have done it. I am looking forward to the whole festive season, the preparations, midnight mass and church on Christmas morning. This year it’s about making it special for others which in turn will bring joy to me”. David has also lead support groups and encouraged others who have been in similar circumstances to his own.
Although David has many more challenges to face, he is looking ahead with hope and joy for his future, especially as this time next year he will be married. It’s a chance for a new beginning and a great future. A time to start new family traditions as he finally adjusts to civilian life.
This Christmas we’d love you give hope to someone like David and others that are spending this Christmas alone and on the streets. Through your help we can provide, not just a house but a home, and much needed friendship (from the church) as an antidote to the loneliness felt by so many. So if you were able to share a little Christmas cheer by supporting the most vulnerable then please click here to donate. £20 will keep an ex-offender off the streets…
£20 a month
Would help to rehabilitate a vulnerable person back into society.
£30 a month
Would help to keep a tenant in a house.
Lastly can we also say a big thank you for helping, praying, investing, volunteered, befriending or donated to us this year. It has been an amazing year: We have grown from 18 churches and homes to 27, opened our first homes in Wolverhampton and Lincoln. Most importantly we have seen the number of people we are supporting grow from 38 to 62! David is only one story but here are some of our statistics for the year until end of October: 81 tenants given a home, 89% maintained their tenancy, 89% (of ex-offenders) did not commit a crime (none went back to prison); 87% reduced their dependency on alcohol or illegal substances, and 61% engaged in volunteer, education or employment.
We wish you all a very good Christmas and may God be with you through the ups and downs of 2015!
Ed and everyone at Hope into Action