On this year’s World Homeless Day, Emmanuel House is joining charities and groups around the world to respond to homelessness within their local communities.
Originally set up to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally, the national day provides opportunities for people to get involved in responding to homelessness.
A few words from Emmanuel House CEO, Denis Tully:
“This is the tree immediately outside my office window at Emmanuel House. The combination of the colours changing from green to yellow caught by autumn sunlight provided me with a momentary distraction from within the restraint of imposed but necessary Covid rules. My working day has shrunk in activity with my relationship to my computer taking on a stronger role of being the corridor into the outer world. There is no longer the opportunity to walk the pavement to the meeting and use it as Mindfulness Advocates would suggest, mindfully walking to reduce the stress of the day. I tap more on my keyboard and stare into a two dimensional screen acknowledging multiple worlds that surround the many faces that appear almost daily.
“If there was ever a time we need hope it’s now. The beauty of something like the tree outside my window reminds me of the cycle of the seasons. While summer ends, after a period, spring will come again. Covid will end but we are likely to go through a winter struggling to make sense of it all and not lest dealing with the threat of job losses and mental health challenges. As I write I am expecting further measures across Nottinghamshire that in some way will seek to restrict our lives. It’s like living in a fog while you can’t set any goals much less see them ahead of you. All we can do is take small steps in the direction we think we should go, checking that the ground we are on is solid. Distractions like the tree and our intense focus on dealing with Covid can be like veils that obscure what else is happening in the world. Homelessness has not gone away and if anything it has become a greater scourge than it was six months ago. The Government’s ‘Everybody In’ initiative, moving all single homeless people into hotel accommodation has been acknowledged nationally and locally as a great success. Three year’s progress in two months. It’s true, the initiative has been of great benefit to people who have been accommodated but homelessness is best understood as an organic process. Like all that contributes to the flourishing of the tree, so there are a combination of circumstances that allow homelessness to flourish and as important as it is, attending to the needs of a ring-fenced number of people does not solve the problem of homelessness.
“Behind the veil in Nottingham, many agencies are working hard to overcome homelessness. In reality at this time we are paddling against the tide just to stand still. Emmanuel House’s role is still to do everything possible to prevent people becoming homeless and to support people who are homeless into accommodation. We are still supporting people with their welfare rights, practical needs, mental health and moving out of a lack of accommodation. To make a difference for one person is significant and every month we make a difference for many. Therein lies hope, for what is possible for the few is also possible for the many. We just need the national will to make it happen.
As a charity we are very grateful for the many people in the community, young and old, who have hope and the will to make it happen through their support and encouragement. World Homeless Day highlights homelessness but it also recognises all the work and support that contributes to overcoming the scourge. As much as we use the day to say homelessness is unacceptable we also say thank you to the community and our supporters without whom all Emmanuel House does would not be possible.”
Emmanuel House’s services, and the Night Shelter we co-ordinate, are an integral part of the plan to reduce homelessness in the city of Nottingham. Our priority is to help people who are homeless, rough sleeping, or in crisis and at risk of homelessness. We offer three phases of support: prevention, intervention and recovery.
How to make the difference in Nottingham on World Homeless Day
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