‘Cork Lighthouse’ outreach blog
On our street outreach today we went out into Cork city centre to reach out to some of the homeless people. We have been running the out reach for nearly 10 months now and we have encountered many different people with a wide range of problems and issues.
We have seen the real need of the homeless people in the city personally. Most of the people we reach out to are drug addicted and homeless. Some of them live in squats or in temporary emergency accommodation. Most of them are caught in a cycle of addiction and homelessness which can last for years and gets continually worse.
On this weeks outreach we ran into a gentleman that we have been seeing on the streets for the last few months. He is around 50 years old and stays in one of the local hostels in Cork. His situation is severe because of his deteriorating health and chronic alcoholism. He has trouble walking on his own and needs help getting from place to place. Most of the time he can be found begging on the streets to support his addictions.
We had a chat with him and gave him a cup of tea. He was very welcoming and was pleased to see us. He enjoyed the chat and was happy to speak to friends. As with all the people we encounter, we invited him to come and visit our church and maybe speak to us about getting some help. Many of our volunteers have been affected by addiction, so we were able to share some real life stories of people who were in addiction but have turned things around. Most importantly we offered the helping hand of hope and support. He was unresponsive to our offers but also polite and friendly. As with a lot of people on the streets, he doesn’t see a way out for him.
We also spoke to a young man who was sleeping rough in a near by squat. His face was bruised and he didn’t look in good health. He was telling us how he can’t find accommodation and is forced to sleep rough. His situation is only made worse by his heroin addiction. Many of the young men that we meet are in the same situation. We offered help and support and we are hoping he will drop in and see us.
We hold firmly to our Christian faith and we see and experience the real transformation and hope that is available to the people we help. At the moment through the work of our home church we are housing and supporting seven people who have graduated from rehabilitation programmes and are now living as productive, drug free members of society. Some have moved on to full time employment and some have recently started education. Its great to see these men and women doing well and making real achievements.
Lighthouse is a ministry of real hope that is continuing to help people in Cork city. If you would like to help or support in what ever way you can, we are much appreciated. Thanks for your time and attention in reading our blog.