Thought for the month

The Derby Winter Nightshelter is now well under way. The generosity of the
Derby churches who host this, week after week, is as has been in previous
years, astounding. It is so good each year to find so many different denomi-
nations – Free church, Baptist, Anglican and Catholic – coming together to
show the love of Jesus, to demonstrate what brings us all together as Chris-
tians. We generally have approximately 30 guests at the Nightshelter, nearly all of them men. Some are new faces and some old and their reasons for being there are many and varied. There are also faces that I haven’t seen this year. My role is to greet our guests on arrival and register them on the
Nightshelter database. When I log them in I also need to check that they are
not banned (not too common an occurance) or have any messages or re-
minders to be passed on. From week one our Guest Support team are active
working with our guests and trying to get them to engage.

I see a lot in the media about the need for homes for homeless people but it
is not as easy as that. I have known of guests who have been housed, lost
that tenancy, been rehoused and yet again lost their tenancy and so on. A
tenancy is just the start. Nearly all our guests need intensive ongoing sup-
port in order to stay in a place of their own. To begin with there is furniture
needs to be found along with bedding, towels etc. Few manage to budget and again many with need assistance with forms etc as there are often issues with literacy. Patience is frequently an issue too. Many guests with have mental health issues, anger management etc etc. as many challenges and problems as you can think of and I haven’t even mentioned addiction issues such as alcohol or Spice! Nevertheless many guests are successfully re-homed every year and this continues throughout the year.

We are always asking for donations and help of this kind of course but another great asset to us are your prayers. We value your prayers greatly and everyday have concrete evidence that these work. So please continue praying the Nightshelter and our guests.
Fran Monahan