Winter Night Shelter - ECC

Winter Night Shelter at ECC

For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in.. Matthew 25:35

In January through to February this year ECC, in partnership with Ealing Churches Winter Night Shelter (ECWNS), opened their doors to the homeless in Ealing.

ECWNS is run by an ecumenical coalition of churches within the London Borough of Ealing. It first opened in January 2011 and now 20 churches are involved in ministering to the homeless.

    

Ealing had 287 people recorded sleeping on the streets (a 31% increase over the previous year), according to the GLA official “CHAIN” reports, and many more in precarious accommodation on friends’ floors, night buses, etc. ECWNS stands in the gap by providing for the most basic and essential needs for homeless people – sleep and food. A person who has been made homeless faces enormous risks as a rough sleeper including substance abuse, poor physical and mental health, and acts of criminality. ECWNS seeks to minimise these risks by creating a safe space for homeless people to find temporary respite while helping them to secure more permanent accommodation. Providing temporary respite ‘buys’ some more time before guests become further entrenched in homelessness and are adversely, and sometimes irreversibly, affected by the risks presented by homelessness. Each guest is offered 28 days in the shelter, during which time ECWNS works with partner agencies (St. Mungo’s Broadway, Ealing Soup Kitchen and Acton Homeless Concern) and local housing services to look for a way to move on.

It was great to see many ECC members get involved in cooking, setting up the beds and furniture, serving the guests and sharing the gospel.

Pastor Mark King