21st January 2022

A report more than a thought

After three weeks of Tyndale’s phase of the night shelter we are starting to get to know the guests. It is lovely that they have a settled base in a guest house; it feels like they are welcoming us rather than the other way around. Once again, I have had my perspective shifted by seeing life through the eyes of those in much less fortunate positions than my own.

Try this conundrum. You cannot get a job if you have no home as a secure base or even an address to put on the application form. But you cannot get a home as no landlord will accept you until you have a permanent job with a steady wage.

The greatest joy of the night shelter work (so far) has been seeing people able to use the resources on offer to break this impossible cycle. They can apply for a permanent job, with a guaranteed wage that will be acceptable to a landlord, and not be pressured into taking the first offer of casual employment.

Something I had not appreciated is how much the “zero hours” culture can distort your values. If settled accommodation is as far away as the moon, but good money is on offer for casual work, then you can have a lot of cash but nowhere to call home. What is sound advice to someone on such a (to me) strange position?

Let us use stories told by others to inform our prayers for them.

Nick Parsons