Here in Chelmsford, many Christians are pleased to support a charity set up by the local churches called Chelmsford CHESS, which supports homeless people, not only with night shelters but also with long term help. About 25% of their funding comes from Government grants administered by Essex County Council. They have recently learned that their funding application to accommodate rough sleepers in the colder winter months has been declined. Even right now in June, the charity knows of fourteen people sleeping rough in the town.
Of course, we all understand the need for austerity in these straitened times. And especially Essex County Council, who – in the spirit of self-discipline – have just awarded themselves a 41% increase in councillors’ allowances. I mean, you can’t afford to risk running out of biscuits at council meetings, can you?
Oh dear. Not a clever example by the Council.
In Watford we have a Christian charity with similar aims – the Watford New hope Trust . It does similar excellent work. I am not up to date on its current funding needs. however it draws considerable funding from local authorities as well as the Salvation Army and local churches and Chrristians. Read Entertaining Angels by Janet Hosier and Liza Hoeksma to learn more.
Meanwhile we continue to pray that this amazing work won’t suffer – in both our towns.
I think I’ve mentioned before the ministry of Bill Crews and the Exodus Foundation at Ashfield, Sydney. Bill set up the foundation a number of years ago, mostly by a very large donation by a “colourful” businessman about town. (Shades of Zaccheus!). He continues to receive government funding, but a large slice of his working capital comes from the business sector, plus donations from Mr & Ms Average. I do think there is a hunger amongst people to help others, they just need a focus sometimes. And governments could spend less on lots of “luxuries”.