Homelessness and Debt

Despite the feeling of affluence in the city, Winchester has its statistical share of poverty.  It’s good that in the 1980s the churches in Winchester took the lead in meeting this need in terms of housing deprivation, life and financial challenges.  CTW was instrumental in setting up 3 charities, Winchester Night Shelter (first point-of-contact shelter), Trinity (daytime support) and Winchester Churches Housing Group (Keystone, next-step supported accommodation looking towards independent living).  All 3 are still active in their related activities with many church members volunteering their time and money.

CTW members are also active in giving debt and financial advice.  That is for those in difficulty and those wanting to avoid it.  Some of us are connected to Christians Against Poverty (CAP, https://capuk.org/), running their CAP Money course and giving debt advice to individuals / families through a CAP debt centre.  Another church runs Frontline Winchester (http://frontlinedebtadvice.org.uk/) that gives both debt and benefits advice.  These are resourced mainly by volunteers, but in at least one case working in association with a staff member.

Trinity for their 30th anniversary have asked us to help their work in preventing and dealing with the effects of homelessness.  They are raising funds through a  Big Sleep Out event on Friday 5th May 2017.  The sleep out does not intend to be an experience of rough sleeping, as we cannot begin to imagine what that must be like, but is definitely an eye-opening experience.   More information can be viewed on their website: http://trinitywinchester.org.uk/bigsleepout .

We are fortunate that our city council recognises the needs but it is a truism that the need has grown and public sector grants have fallen in the past few years.  If any of this strikes a chord, please contact David Boul (david.boul@ccwinch.org.uk or 01962 854454).  He works closely with Sue Broadbent who champions Families and Poverty.

davidboul