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Growing houses for homeless ministry sees “amazing transformations”

Green Pastures, a 2011 Inspire Award winner, say their church network providing homes for homeless people has seen a drop in re-offending rates among their service users ...

Green Pastures, a 2011 Inspire Award winner, say their church network providing homes for homeless people has seen “amazing transformations” in places where they are working.

In Stoke on Trent, Pontefract and Wakefield, Green Pastures Housing and their partners have seen re-offending rates from their service users fall to between 12 and 15% against the national average of 68%.

“In Southport, 27% of all those using some of the services on offer from Green Pastures and Shoreline Housing have now found their own journey of faith as a direct result of the compassion, discipline and hard work put in by staff and volunteers,” the ministry reports.

Green Pastures started with a pair of flats for two homeless Southport couples in 1999. It’s now a national network of 34 church partners and 240 houses.

Pastor Peter Cunningham (right) who began the ministry with his son and a member of his church, said: “We were never promised that the Gospel would be a stroll in the park. We’ve seen suicide, murder, complete poverty amongst other things, but we are dealing with people’s lives across the extremities of life.

“The fact is that it’s working. Feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, putting a roof over people’s heads, restoring people to be a valued member of society again. Isn’t that simply Matthew 25;35 in action?

“The only things is that we need more churches to rise to this challenge. The Church can do what no statutory body can do - meet the needs of the whole person.

 “We have been called to house the homeless without discrimination or favour. We are in a privileged position of being able to serve the Church and acquire properties on behalf of our partners, thus releasing them to fulfil their vision in their locality. It works. We just need more partners to come with us on this journey.”

  • Green Pastures won the Inspiring Project Award in the 2011 Inspire Awards. Click HERE to find out more about this year’s event and how to nominate your local unsung hero.

 

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