Thank you to all those who were volunteering again last night with the Boldmere Night Shelter. And those who were supporting behind the scenes – and of course to Birmingham Churches Winter Night Shelter and their collaborators working with people week in week out with the increasing number of homeless people on the streets of Birmingham.
There is much talk these days about how recent changes to the benefits system impacts out of proportion on those who poorest and most vulnerable…
For part of the evidence look to the increasing number of people out of sorts and on the streets… Many are there because of the changes in the benefit system, and still more are there because the resources are not available for local authorities and other professional teams to offer sustained and effective help. Increasingly people are here, needed, for seasonal work and are without means of support ‘out of season’. A recent article in the Guardian describes the situation in London. It is grave too in the West Midlands.
Jesus said ‘The poor, you will have them with you always’…
And said it to Judas who feigned care for the poor while lining his own pockets…
Each of us has the responsibility to respond in what best way we can – for example
- by supporting those charities that are geared up to provide sustained and targeted help – such at BWNS and the range of charities operating under the umbrella of Caritas Birmingham;
- by helping Local Authorities face up to their responsibilities, and supporting them when they look for adequate funding from us and Central Government;
- by looking for Central Government to establish policies which provide adequate care for the most vulnerable – and on this there was some good news in the Budget, but it needs following through
- and by praying and helping the homeless themselves directly in the ways we best can.