CEO’s Blog – 10/01/2018

Our Own Kind of Grace

I have one of those desk calendars at work which has some of those inspirational sayings for each day of the year.  My version is a Christian one and on the day I write this it says:

“The meaning of life.  The wasted Years of life. The poor choices of life.  God answers the junk of life with one word: grace”

In God’s terms “grace” means undeserved love.  God loves us no matter what we have done.  If we come to him, with open arms and open hearts, asking forgiveness for the wrongs we have thought, said and done then no matter what, without judgement, he accepts us.

Now I know that’s all “religeousy stuff” which some of you may not think concerns you, but it does have a direct impact on what we do for homeless people at The Bridge Trust.  This is because the Vision of the Trust is:

 “Founded on Christian principles, we work to alleviate homelessness by giving people the opportunity to have a home”. 

It’s that belief that everyone has a fundamental right to have that opportunity that put us directly in line with the Christian principle of God’s grace.  Let me explain…..

I have often heard people say that if someone is homeless then it’s their own fault.  I would argue against that as a generalisation, but for some it may be true.  People may have made decisions about their life that have ultimately led them into homelessness.  Perhaps they decided to get in with a bad crowd for example, who in turn got them into drinking or taking drugs.  Someone’s decision to spend money on these or other things may have left them without money to buy food or pay rent, which made them homeless – just one scenario.  So that could be construed as being their own fault.  This may be true but at The Bridge Trust we do not judge people for the reasons why they have become homeless, we just give them the opportunity to turn their lives around – everyone deserves to be given a chance don’t they?  I’m sure all of us have made bad decisions in our lives but most of us are lucky enough that they haven’t led to us losing our homes.

Our doors are open wide for people who want and need our accommodation and support services – whoever they are.  OK, unlike God, we can’t take every person who asks as we live in a world where resources are limited so we are forced to prioritise.  We also work alongside other organisations and agencies who offer different types of services to different types of homeless people – ex-offenders, those with mental health problems, young persons services for 16 and 17 year olds and so forth.  For us, we prioritise single adults as in west Kent there is no other service that provides specifically for this client group.  Within that we also can’t take everyone who applies e.g. if they have an uncontrolled drink problem, as they need to share their accommodation with others, some who may be in recovery for example.  But, whoever we accept into our service, we do so without judgement for “past sins”; our own kind of grace.