Jean Tither, the Support Manager at Emmaus Greenwich spoke about our work at Bishop Ridley Church in Bexley on World Homeless Day this October.
World Homeless Day takes place every year on the 10 October, and its aim is to raise awareness of the experiences and needs of those who experience homelessness, and in particular allow people and organisations to highlight local issues.
Jean invited Emmaus Greenwich companion Tony to attend the church service with her, to share his story with the congregation and talk about some of the ways in which people in the Greenwich area can support those who are homeless.
Tony told the congregation that he first experienced homelessness in 1992 following the breakdown of a relationship which resulted in him moving out of his family home without anywhere to go, and spending his first night sleeping at Victoria Station. He remained homeless until 2013 when he joined the Emmaus Greenwich community.
Tony told the congregation about how he feels about being part of Emmaus Greenwich:
“I look forward to getting up to a days work. We’re all giving something back to the community, and whatever we’re doing we’re doing something.” You can read more about Tony and his experiences here.
Jean said: ‘Being World Homeless Day on the 10 October gave me the opportunity to raise awareness of homelessness in my church, Bishop Ridley. Obviously, homelessness is close to my heart as I work in Emmaus Greenwich and have heard many stories. Tony Heather, one of our companions agreed to come to my church and talk about his experiences when he was on the street for 15 years.’
The previous weekend Bishop Ridley Church had held their annual harvest festival, and half of the donated gifts were given to the Emmaus Greenwich community. Thank you to Jean, Tony and to Bishop Ridley Church!