Feeding the Homeless
The New Way Ministries was set up in January 2017 and we are a church and followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. With this in mind, we want to do the things that the bible say Christians should be doing but in this current state of affairs, the churches have gone away from. Having said that, we are not here to push our beliefs on anyone for that matter. All we are interested in at this point in time is to help the homeless, the poor and the needy people in Southampton.
One of the commands of God in the bible, apart from spreading the gospel, is to take care of the less fortunate, the poor, the widows, orphans and the vulnerable in the society. With this in mind, we decided to start helping the homeless community in and around Southampton. We started off distributing food from the boot of a car and gradually things have improved and we are currently providing not only food, but clothing, sleeping bags, cleansing materials, tents, and other things that will try and improve their current situations.
We do not help only the homeless but the people who are also on the verge of being homeless, the unemployed who cannot make ends meet and struggle to get by on the income that they get. During the past eight months, through our interactions with the people on the street, we have been able to identify their struggles and areas where helps are needed and this has helped us to formulate a plan for the future, subject to finances. Presently, we are not receiving financial helps from any organisations and most of what we have purchased has been through our own pockets or little donations that are received when we are out on the street.
Looking at the overall situation, when we first started we were feeding about 20-30 people a day but this has now tripled. As we said before, we also provide help to anyone needing assistance. We are grateful to Greggs Bakery and Matt Bakery for their daily provision of food to meet the needs but we feel we can do more.
One of the areas that the homeless do complain about is the inability to have a roof over their heads, due to the cost of a room in already established institutions. Like for example, a couple of weeks ago, a young man approached us for help. Whilst speaking to him about his situation, he told us that he would love to go and get a job and contribute in the community. But currently, looking at the cost of the shelter where he is living, which is paid for through housing benefit, he will need to get a job where he will have to earn more than £1800 a month, to be able to meet the monthly cost of the room, which is already £1300 per month and also keep something aside for him to eventually move into his own place one day.
Our aim is to provide them with a roof over their heads where they will not have to pay anything. We believe that for them to come off the street, they will need the support and we will have people in place to help them get through the addictions, rebuild their self-esteem and confidence, which will help them to become respectable members of the society. But that will not stop there. Once back in society, there will be follow-ups with them to ensure that they are doing well until we see that they are able to stand on their feet again.
One thing we have discovered is that though they are on the streets, they are people full of potentials and all that they want is for someone or society to offer them a second chance.
Due to limited funds, we are currently looking into the various possibilities for grants to help us in our mission.
This will help us in securing a building in Southampton city centre, as the first thing that we want to get them is a place in the city centre where they can come in, sit down and have a proper meal together, interact with each other. A place where they can come in daily for a shower, clean clothing, etc.
As we await for funding to come in to shelter them, we want them to have a place where we can in the meantime work with them, through various little courses that can be organised, professionals can come in and meet with them such as doctors, counsellors, etc. All this will be ideal, as it will prepare them for when the actual shelter is ready. It will also in the meantime help in dealing with the various addictions that they have.
We have great hope for the homeless community in the area as we aim to offer a service with a difference. As a Church, we are not profit orientated but everything that we collect goes directly towards help for them.