Moravian Messenger December 2018
P. 1

No Room at the Inn:
It is a very sad fact that homelessness is on the increase. The charity ‘Crisis’ published figures which state that homelessness in general is up 8% this year. When most of us think of homelessness we think of those rough sleepers that we see all too often on the streets; there has been a shocking rise of 15% in rough sleepers this year.
‘Crisis’ categorises homelessness into three main groups:
• Rough sleepers are single people
who sleep on the street or in hostels
and shelters. • Homelesshouseholdsarefamilies
without accommodation. • Hidden homeless are those in over-
crowded accommodation and those who ‘sofa surf’, spending a few days with family or friends before having to move on.
It is encouraging that homelessness has been given high profile in parliament with the passing of the Homelessness Reduction Act this summer.  
This Act requires local councils to help those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. However, countering this are the problems, including the threat of homelessness, being caused by the introduction of Universal Credit because some people are receiving less money with this new benefit and there is often a gap in payments as people switch from the old benefits onto the new   Universal Credit.
Two of our Moravian congregations are involved in helping homeless people in their area. These are Hornsey in north London and Horton in Bradford, Yorkshire.
How does all this information translate into the people that are our guests at these shelters? There is a complete cross section of society represented: men, women, old, young, people from a variety of cultural backgrounds and from many different countries. Each person's story as to why they are homeless is unique. Many have experienced a relationship break down, some have left the armed
forces, some have lost a job, some have just left prison, some are asylum seekers, some have mental health problems, some have been sleeping in cars, some in tents, the list goes on ...
So how does it work on   the ground?
Every winter Hornsey plays a vital role in supporting and helping the homeless as part of the winter shelter scheme where we provide a bed, meal and shower in the hall for up to 16 people one night per week for the months of January and February every Sunday night until Monday morning. This is organised with our partner charity ‘All People All Places’. The guests are welcomed to our hall where they choose their bed. The hall is a laid out in a mixed dorm style with mattresses on the floor, but more privacy can be provided with screens if necessary and in the past some people, in exceptional circumstances, have been given a separate room. Guests are then
Continues inside on page 134
Connect 18
(page 135)
John Cennick,    a brief biography
(page 136)
Inn Churches
European Mission Conference
(pages 137)
A Moravian Shipwreck Part I
(page 140)

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