Ministering to the homeless
With a new drop-in centre and soup kitchen for the homeless, HOPE Nottingham, formerly NG9, is providing for the practical needs of the homeless and now launching as an official registered charity that will serve the needs of an even wider community.
NG9 first started in 2007 serving the postcode of its name, making it a priority to share God’s love in social action, celebrations and public witness. A lot has happened as a result of churches working together to serve over a period of three years.
HOPE Nottingham, consisting of more than 30 volunteers from different churches in the area, has taken the HOPE model and is developing it across the city.
The programme initially began with a prayer walk organised by local churches and individuals, and has expanded into several ministry branches. A student gardening week that helped clean up some of the messy areas of the town made the Hope initiative known to many others. Nigel Adams, Director, explains that “since then, we haven’t looked back.”
With the help of volunteers, the project organised an Easter Passion play, a prayer tent, holiday day trips and a free “Hope in the Park” summer festival that brought countless visitors who got to enjoy live music, food and children’s events.
Hope Nottingham is now focusing on a “Healing on the Streets” programme as well as the Drop-in Centre for the homeless and vulnerable that will enter into partnership with the United Reformed Church and is using their facilities as well.
The local response to the project has been hugely positive. Nigel Adams is sure that “this is the right time to unite the churches in our city to reach out to the community.” He states that “there are many stories I could tell of how Hope changed lives in NG9, not least my own.”
With the support of many churches and the town’s mayor Pat Lally, HOPE Nottingham has great potential to minister to and impact people’s lives all over the city.