Category Archives: Homelessness

Ways to practically help the homeless

Our hearts are stirred when we walk by people sitting or sleeping on our streets but it’s hard to know how to help. I feel the temptation to walk by but it’s so much better when I get down on their level, introduce myself and ask about their situation. Often I find that the person is already working with an organisation that is helping them and is just grateful that somebody has stopped to talk to them. It’s also good to ask if they want something particular to eat or drink.

talk to homeless

If someone is not getting any support, I try to point them in the direction of a local day centre that can help them claim benefits, find accommodation and get other practical help for their particular situation. I work for HOPE worldwide Two Step – in 2017 we began several partnerships with day centres so that they could refer people to us for help finding accommodation. This partnership approach is really effective and we housed 16 people referred this way in the last three months of 2017. If you would like to take part in a sponsored walk on Sat 24th 2018 March where you can learn more about how Two Step is helping the homeless and how you can help personally please go to

How to talk to someone who is street homeless:

Many people on the streets are using day centres and getting some kind of support. If someone is not being helped by any particular organisation and is sleeping rough, you can contact streetlink and also to recommend any local homeless day centres that you know of or can find out about that could help them directly or refer them elsewhere. If you live in London this is a great site and app that you can use to help do this,

You can search for local homeless services in England here:

Things to remember:
· Make sure that you are not putting yourself in an unsafe situation e.g. by talking to someone who is drunk or in a group of people
· Get on their level and introduce yourself and ask if they are homeless and if anyone is helping them
· Find out about their situation to see what they need help with and perhaps buy them some food or drink and recommend they contact a local day centre.

Is it a good idea to give money?

If people are asking for money, I usually explain that I give money to a homeless charity rather than giving money on the street and offer to buy them something to eat or drink if I have time. I have donated to HOPE worldwide and supported Two Step for many years because the programme is very effective at housing the homeless. (If you would like to support Two Step please go to and select Two Step from the Dropdown menu.)

Case Study: Two Step programme

HOPE worldwide’s programme ‘Two Step’ began after two Christians took the step of faith of sleeping on the streets of London for a week in order to meet homeless people, experience homelessness for themselves and understand how to help.

One of the people Two Step housed recently is Bill. Bill was homeless after splitting up with his partner and losing his business. The nights sleeping in the cold were taking their toll and he was desperate for somewhere to live before it got too much. Two Step were able to house him within a few days of his assessment so that he could start rebuilding his life. He is currently on a course to get his construction skills card so that he can begin working again.

How Two step works in partnership with other organisations to house the homeless (see below)

Two Step now works in partnership with many night shelters, charities and local authority projects to help house the homeless –those on the streets and those insecurely housed. This partnership approach is really effective and Two Step now houses around 25 people per month.

Would you like to participate in an event to raise funds and learn more about how you can help?

Two Step are organising a sponsored walk on Saturday 24th March. This is an opportunity to play an active part in addressing homelessness by learning about how to help people personally and by raising money to support the work of Two Step.
For more details or to sponsor a participant, please go to

You will hear from people who have been homeless and possibly walk alongside them past sights like Trafalgar Square, London eye and the houses of parliament – see photos below from a previous walk and video at

Two million steps slide 10th may

At the reception at the end of the walk, you will learn about how you can talk to and advise someone who is homeless and also of how you could help further e.g. by volunteering in a night shelter. Hope worldwide staff will also outline the plans Two Step has for the future.

Background: What is causing the increase in homelessness?

The rise in homelessness is largely driven by poverty in it’s various forms.
Material poverty means people can’t afford to pay rent or a mortgage. Rents have risen much faster than wages and Housing benefit has been reduced then frozen so it is no surprise that evictions have risen sharply. The end of a private tenancy is now the largest single cause of homelessness.

Poverty of relationships is another huge factor – our society emphasises choice and freedom rather than duty and commitment. Relationship breakdown is the second largest single cause of homelessness.

Many homeless people also have an acute poverty of identity. The longer that someone sleeps rough or lives in poor conditions, the lower their self-esteem and the greater the chance of developing mental health problems.
Behind the statistics and trends, each story is unique. Here are four stories as recorded by the BBC:

Being homeless carries significant personal risk. A homeless rough sleeper is 35 times more likely to attempt suicide, 13 times more likely to be a victim of violent crime and 47 times more likely to be a victim of theft. On average, street homeless people die at 47. You can read more about the facts of homelessness here:

Once someone loses their home, they may stay with friends and family for a while but it is often only a matter of time before they will have nowhere left to go. A lot of the people Two Step work with are in this situation and are very grateful that they can be housed before they have to live on the streets and face the risks outlined above. Thanks to all those who support our work!


Sign up for our sponsored walk Sat 24 March

We would love to have you join us for ‘Two million Step for Two Step’ on Sat 24th March 2018. The event is a great way to meet people, raise money and learn about our work with the homeless – all whilst passing many iconic London sights like Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament. Registration closes Sunday 11th March. To register and for more information please go to



The main walk will start from our Two Step office, 360 City Road, London EC1V 2PY to a reception at St Marks Kennington, (Oval Tube station), finishing around 1pm.

We are also inviting people that we have housed to participate.

To register, sponsor someone or for information please go to


One of the highlights of 2017 was beginning new partnerships with night shelters to house rough sleepers. We would love to raise funds to help expand this work and help fund our existing work thorough this event

Thank you to those who donated to the Grenfell Tower Disaster Fund

Here is an update on the money that was raised for the Grenfell Tower Disaster. We wanted to ensure that the money reached the most needy residents, as soon as possible. We identified a local charity who were working with the residents called Rugby Portobello Trust and at their suggestion used your donations to buy 45 vouchers worth £100 each for the Westfield Shopping Centre. The trust will identify the most needy families from the disaster and pass on our vouchers. Below is a photograph of Bruce Miller, Director of ODAAT, with one of the residents who lost his wife in the fire, along with Eri Gebrai from the Trust. Thank you to everyone who contributed.


JOB ADVERT: Finance and Administration Officer

HOPE worldwide UK are seeking someone who enjoys working accurately with detailed information. They need to be diligent and hard-working and have a passion for the work and purpose of HOPE worldwide. They will have at least three years’ experience working in a finance or bookkeeping role and be happy to work in an organization with a Christian ethos and values. Some details are listed below, full details are available in the recruitment pack which can be downloaded from the website.

Job title

Finance and Administration Officer

Brief description of role

To administer and manage all aspects of financial administration at HOPE worldwide UK. This will include recording and reporting financial transactions, producing management accounts for the senior management team and for the board, involvement in the budget process, administering petty cash, managing payroll, supplier management and other duties that will help HOPE worldwide focus more effectively and efficiently on its core purpose.

 Hours to be worked

The core hours are 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, but there might be times that the post-holder will need to work extra hours when necessary. This could include being available for occasional evenings and at weekends to participate in special events like board meetings if needed. Although it is anticipated that the job will be full-time, HOPE worldwide will consider a part-time arrangement for the equivalent of four days a week.

Location of work

The role will be based at one of our London offices, either in the Angel or near the Oval. The post-holder will need to visit the other office regularly.

Salary banding

Between £25,000 to £30,000 depending on experience.

Closing date for application

Applications must be received no later than midday Friday 15 December 2017. They can be emailed to:

Anticipated interview dates

To be confirmed – probably within January 2018.

DBS checks

Due to the nature of the role, a criminal record check is required before a final job offer is made (see HOPE worldwide’s policy on recruiting ex-offenders).

Occupational Requirements

In light of the Christian ethos of the Charity and the nature and context of the work to be undertaken by this role, it is considered that there is an occupational requirement for the postholder to be a practising Christian in accordance with Schedule 9 Equality Act 2010.

Further information

For Recruitment pack, application form or more information, please contact us by emailing

Just Giving page for Grenfell Tower Disaster

Please donate to our appeal for the Grenfell Tower disaster

We have all been shocked by the Grenfell Tower disaster that took place in West London. Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives have been affected by this horror.

It is estimated that up to 600 people might have been made homeless by this tragedy, and it is still unclear how many people have lost their lives.

HOPE worldwide have worked with vulnerable groups in West London for many years and want to help to support the recovery from this tragedy. We have set up this fundraising page to collect money which will be used to help those affected. Please give generously to this urgent need.

Would you like to volunteer at a London night shelter?

Read about Bruce Miller’s experience of volunteering at a night shelter

Many of the night shelters around London are organised on the basis of local churches grouped into multiples of seven, each agreeing to have homeless people stay for one night per week. This involves providing an evening meal and then distributing bedding for them to sleep in the church hall, providing breakfast the following morning and then storing the labeled bedding for the same time next week. This would go on for a period of about six months starting in October and finishing in March.


St John the Baptist Church, Isleworth where Bruce volunteered.

So there are opportunities to help with cooking the evening meal, preparation of the men’s beds for sleeping, supervising the night shift and helping with breakfast and clear up in the morning.  My wife helped to cook the evening meal and this involved taking the food down to the shelter for about 7pm and collecting the empty, washed, container at about 10pm.  Other volunteers were actually in the building serving the meal and washing and cleaning up afterwards. So there are lots of ways to serve.

I got the chance to volunteer on a Thursday morning for eight weeks, during February and March 2017, at a night shelter in St. John’s Church of England, Isleworth. The work involved being there from 6:00-7:45am supporting between twelve to fourteen homeless men along with another five or six volunteers.

Specifically this meant helping to set up the large breakfast table, then as each man woke up, putting each person’s mattress and bedding into the storage room; helping to prepare breakfast and sitting with the men and talking together over breakfast; clearing up after breakfast, then sweeping , cleaning and preparing the hall for the daycare and nursery session that was immediately to follow. It was physical work but very encouraging to engage with the homeless men and meet with other volunteers in the community.  It was also sad, as I listened to their stories of how they came to be homeless.

I remember one morning feeling sorry for myself, having to get out of bed so early, then I remembered the guys that I was about to serve.  They were in a hall, sleeping on a 2” thick sponge mattress, with no family around them, all their possessions in a rucksack, and living on the streets.  I got out of bed with a better attitude; shame on me for complaining.  Truly, it is better to give than to receive.

The time I spent quickly flew by and on the last Thursday morning I expressed to one of the other volunteers that I was sad it was finished.  It felt so good to serve, and I hope that the relationships I have formed and this small act of service will be pleasing to God.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering at night shelters over the winter please contact Jane Whitworth at




Hope Jam – Talent Showcase

10th June 2017

Venue: The Star of Kings, 126 York Way, Kings Cross, N1 0AX

Time: 6pm

Tickets: £10

Ticket Website: