Woodstock Methodist Church regularly supports charities through its "church project", a particular cause for which we both raise money and raise awareness, usually for a period of two years. These alternate between something overseas and something closer to home. Our current church project, adopted in June 2012, concerns the issue of homelessness and involves three local charities. They will be our church project over the next couple of years, during which time we hope to raise enough money to give them £1000 each. We have already raised over £1800 so are well on our way to achieving our goal!
During Homelessness Week, at the end of January, members from the three organisations came to speak during our Sunday morning service and give us more information about the work that they do. It was particularly poignant to hear from a former resident of Howard House about his experiences of rehabilitation there. He is now a volunteer at Howard House helping others who find themselves in a similar situation.
The Gatehouse provides food, shelter and company to Oxford's homeless and poorly housed population. It is now based at St Giles Parish Rooms and is open to anyone who is 25 or over on weekday evenings from 5pm to 7pm and on Sundays from 3pm to 5pm.
The Steppin' Stone Centre provides day long support for homeless and vulnerably housed people wanting to move forward in their lives, away from street-life and addiction. It focuses upon housing, health, wellbeing, education and employment, and aims to provide healthy food, practical help, companionship, learning skills, work related skills and opportunities for development.
Howard House can be found on the Iffley Road in Oxford and provides residential detoxification for adults who are seeking abstinence from drugs and alcohol. Most people stay for 12 weeks and receive daily support, group sessions, monitored detoxification and access to counselling and advice.