Caritas “Open Church” Night Shelter Project (Please Note: St Swithun’s will be participating in this project as we always do.)
Kevin Gallagher, Director of Caritas Portsmouth tells us about another exciting project coming this winter…
Walk down any high street, in any city in the UK, and you are guaranteed to see rough sleepers in doorways begging for money. Although it goes without saying that this is a scandal in a country as wealthy as our own, and something which demands government attention, whose heartstrings are not pulled when seeing our fellow sisters and brother living under such conditions? Maybe we are moved to give some money, perhaps buy a coffee or sandwich which may make us feel good for a while but what about getting closer to the front line and being more personally involved?
Well now is your chance to do so as next February, Caritas will be taking over a project previously run by St. Jude’s church in Portsmouth called Open Church Project. This is a rotating church shelter in the Portsmouth and Southsea area, where a group of churches in the area will be opening their halls during the cold winter months to offer a bed for the night and also a hot healthy dinner and breakfast. But more importantly, the project will be a place where volunteers and guests can encounter each other, to have some relationship building and regaining of trust for those whom society has all but forgotten and for whom life can seem to have lost all hope.
On Thursday 5th December in the Cathedral Discovery Centre, Portsmouth, starting at 7pm, the Society of St. James will be running a training session for all volunteers who wish to join this worthwhile project. If you dont have a DBS, this can be applied for on the night, but please come early. As we need volunteers to sign up to help run the shelter’s 3 shifts, to cook food etc please come along and find out more. If you are unable to join as a shift volunteer and as funds are needed to run the shelter and for the move-on future support, perhaps you could consider finding some way to help raise funds for the project? If you already have a DBS please bring it along on the night.
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