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Bringing hope to London’s homeless

NEWSLETTER

Autumn/Winter 2013 “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better than they ever dreamed of.” John 10:10,

PRAYER POints That as many guests as possible would be able to find shelter in the cold weeks and months ahead For those who find Christmas hard for all sorts of reasons - away from family or country; broken relationships; regrets over the past. Refreshment for staff and connection with God over the holiday period

How do you help someone who is always drunk? by Luke Carson

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ow do you help someone who is always drunk? Obviously I would never judge anyone according to their addiction, but when you are attempting to serve and build a relationship with someone who is consistently out of their mind, it raises a lot of problems. I get incredibly frustrated having the exact same conversation with someone day in, day out, and get very downhearted when I realise that all the effort I’ve made and all the time I’ve spent with them has seemingly been for nothing. It’s also very hurtful when someone you’ve spent many hours with doesn’t even remember your name.

I often think of one man from my home town who I’ve met at the same time and same place every week for months now. I thought a level of trust and friendship had been established, but when he looks at me with a blank stare and mumbles something about his benefits money yet again I feel like giving up and getting a job in a coffee shop. But it’s at these times when love – to me, anyway – means being patient, consistent and generous with my time. I trust in the theory that if you stick with someone, a window of opportunity will eventually appear, where they are open to discussing

the need for change in their life. It’s also in this time, maybe during a crisis of some sort, that they can be ready to hear the gospel. That’s why I try to remind myself that consistency is so important: we must try to offer a stable element in the midst of a really chaotic life, so that we are prepared to step in when those rare moments of sobriety appear. There’s no denying that this will be painful. Many London City Mission workers, not least our team at Webber Street, have to put up with all sorts of drunken abuse, but thankfully every member of staff knows that God has never given up on us. That gives you strength to keep going.

Thank you for your support FOR Webber Street this year. Happy Christmas and every blessing for 2014! “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28


The London dream?å Helping homeless people from Eastern Europe The homeless population in Waterloo includes a significant proportion of Eastern Europeans. Gosia Kołosowska recently started working at Webber Street and part of her role includes helping our Polish guests. Where are you from Gosia? I’m from a city called Bialystok, it’s in northwest Poland, close to the border with Belarus.

in Poland and it’s a hard life for many. People want to help their families they are here to make money to send money back to their families.

How many Eastern European homeless people come to Webber Street?

Are there particular challenges that homeless people from Poland face?

They don’t speak the language and It changes, but at the moment we many of them end up on the streets. have 15-20 regular guests. These men When they end up on are from Poland. We also they are unable the streets many fall have a number of guests to get a job so into abuse of alcohol from Lithuania, Bulgaria and Russia. they are caught and drugs. Then they unable to get a job in a vicious circle are so they are caught in Why are there people a vicious circle. The language barrier from Poland who are homeless in makes it difficult for them to access London? support services. At Webber Street we It used to be the American dream, can direct them to other organisations but right now people in Poland and who can help them in specific ways Eastern Europe have the England/ London dream. They come with desire - English lessons, rehab and legal advice. We can also make appointments in their hearts to have a good life, for them to get a National Insurance to earn money, have a family and a number or help them contact their better standard of life. There are curembassy. rently high levels of unemployment

Tell us about your role at Webber Street? I work with all of the guests at Webber Street. With Polish guests I can translate and communicate with those guests who speak English. At times this can be a real challenge. I recently had a conversation when I spoke in English to a guest who spoke to another guest in Russian and then this man translated from Russian to Bulgarian! You’ve been at Webber Street for 2 months, what have you learned in that time? A lot! Our staff team are really experienced and I’ve been able to observe how they work. One of the things I’ve learned is that we need to know how to listen to people. Not to talk, but to listen to guests. It’s so important for guests to see that they have our attention, that they are important to us, that their fears, pain and joys are important. The beautiful thing I discovered is that if you let people talk they will open up, you don’t need to force it.


Webber S t r e e t Winter appea

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PARTNER WITH US THIS WINTER to help bring hope to London’s homeless.

You can donate by: Visiting our JustGiving page: justgiving.com/Webber-Street Sending a cheque made payable to London City Mission Calling our Supporter Relations team on 020 7234 3585

Your support really will make a difference!

£10 pays for breakfast for one guest for a month £25 pays for a guest to use all of Webber Street’s services for two days

£120 pays for a guest to have breakfast for a year £350 pays for all breakfasts we serve in a week £1,200 pays for Webber Street to be run for a day

Hope, Joy & Challenges Staff reflect on a year of ministry

you? What stands out for

ference the The positive dif e new th in e ac extra sp e to the ad m s ha ies or lavat offer our we quality of ser vice guests remote part of Travelling to a two former see Lithuania to turned their ve ha o guests wh married. lives around, get le Study The Thursday Bib tween 8 for our guests. Be the study 10 guests stay for ther ge to ch and enjoy lun en giv ve ha We . afterward of their le Bib a e de ten each at ey want and own to keep if th le in their in some cases a Bib own language.

What has given yo

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the most joy? The team their enthus ia sm and thei a tough min r endurance istry. in A neat and tidy clothing store! The daily Bi ble talks befo re breakfast conversation provoke s with guests about Jesus questions, bi and many lif g and small, e philosophical an d practical. Serving pe ople. Seeing peop le get jobs an d get back in where they to a position are able to af ford their ow n housing.

been the What hacshallenge? biggest those

to help Trying ak little who spe English. hat g out w Workin in is p e st the next idual iv d in n a helping ng d pointi guest an t h ig the r them in or t p p su of direction eed. n y a ym that the

What are your hopes for 2014?

That we have the privilege to lead people to Christ.

men and women to It is my prayer that God will open the spiritual eyes of Bible. the understand around. To see hope restored To see more people coming to faith, turning their lives in people’s hearts, and lives transformed.


Thank you for the many ways you support the ministry of Webber Street!

Prayerst Breakfa

Royal Parks 2013

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lion years...I am not a runner! But decided to set myself a challenge and trained for 6 months for my first ever race to support the amazing Webber St. Day Centre. It was so fun!!! Beautiful sunshine, good chats and so many dedicated and enthusiastic cheerers.”

n 6th October a team of 28 wonderful people ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon to raise money for Webber Street. It was a beautiful sunny day and the route was lined with cheering crowds. London City Mission’s new CEO Graham Miller was part of the team, running a Half Marathon in his first week on the job! Team Webber enjoyed the experience and also had the opportunity to raise over £10k for Webber Street.

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n Saturday 5th October we hosted the first ever Webber Street prayer breakfast. The prayer breakfast was held in LCM HQ and supporters joined us for a delicious breakfast and an opportunity to hear updates from staff. We will be holding another Prayer Breakfast next year and we will publish the details in the coming months.

We are grateful for the efforts of all of our runners and are already planning the team for next year. Contact victor.chatfield@lcm.org.uk if you would like information about joining Team Webber and running the Royal Parks Half Marathon for Webber Street in 2014.

Team member Tessa said, “I never thought I’d do a half marathon in a mil-

Hope Grows ‘Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin’ (Zechariah 4:10).

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his year we celebrated the first year milestone of Hope Community Homes, our supported tenancy project associated with our Webber Street day centre for homeless people.

It is truly a humbling experience to look back and see how much has happened in the lives of the first tenants in our three single flats, selected from those known to us through Webber Street. Between them they have a history of rough sleeping that spans over a decade. This is a vital time of change between rough sleeping and being able to cope in a self-contained flat; as a team, we help them through this tough transition, giving each one support that is personal and tailored completely to their needs. For each tenant it is a very personal journey to

Web: webberstreet.org

the point where they no longer need the support we offer.

Harvest

We have seen so many positive steps taken by each of our residents. This first year has been a grace-filled time for all of those involved in Hope Community Homes.

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big thank you to all those who donated food and clothing during our Harvest collection. Our supplies are nicely stocked up for the months ahead.

We are hoping to expand the Hope Community Homes ministry in the next year, increasing the number of flats available. This is an exciting next step for the team and an opportunity to grow hope. Please pray for us in these plans. Please pray for wisdom for staff as we engage with the tenants and that in our relationships with them we will have the same mind-set as Christ Jesus.

Email: info@webberstreet.org

Facebook: facebook.com/webberstreet

Twitter: twitter.com/webberstreet

Webber Street is a ministry of London City Mission Tel: 020 7407 7585 | Email: enquiries@lcm.org.uk | 175 Tower Bridge Road, LONDON SE1 2AH | www.lcm.org.uk | Reg Charity No 247186

TO DONATE £5, TEXT WEBB44 £5 TO 70070


Webber Street Newsletter Autumn Winter 2013