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Recently I visited Tweed Heads Church of Christ to facilitate a pastoral care training course. During my visit Pastor John Latta took me on a tour with a difference of the local community. We visited several caravan parks (some condemned but still occupied); we observed people living and sleeping in their cars; we visited the local Big W who were donating clothes for people in need that the church would distribute; we visited the sand dune areas along the coast where it is reported 5,000 people live as homeless between the Gold Coast and Pottsville. People displaced by the floods in 2017 have added to this number as has women and children fleeing domestic violence. The numbers are high and quite overwhelming and in response, Fresh Hope Engage is highlighting Homelessness as our urgent issue and subject for this year’s upcoming Winter Appeal.
Homelessness is a growing issue in our cities and communities with national statistics reporting 1 in 200 people in Australia are homeless. Whatever the causes of homelessness (and the reasons are often complex and long term), people without stable homes are some of the most vulnerable in our community. Through this year’s Winter Appeal, Fresh Hope Engage will be raising awareness, raising funds to support churches like Tweed Heads Church of Christ, responding in their communities, to encourage prayer, and to encourage deeper engagement on this issue.
If you or your church have experience in this issue (stories to share, lessons to learn, or a need for funds) or want to ask questions about what is planned, please do get in touch. Appeal resources will be available at Fresh Hope Collective in May, and there will be an appeal mail-out. Donations to this appeal through Fresh Hope Engage are tax deductible and there will be an initial focus on end-of-financial-year donations, but we will continue to raise funds and share stories about this work throughout the year.
Ministry Leader | Fresh Hope Engage