The reason we house the homeless is Jesus. Giving someone a home is who we are, its our nature as believers. Its our very nature to serve the least and the marginalised. Christ in you the believer is the hope of glory to the rest of the world. As believers we aren't given a choice by God, but we are commanded to house and help the needy. What we call choice, God calls disobedience. Furthermore, how can you deny your true nature, to do so is to live a lie in Christ. We don't want to do that.
In Southport we started by seeing the need and then acting.
Where a church or Christian Charity wishes to reach and house the homeless in their area, we at Green Pastures are here to serve them with a property purchase, expertise & training so they can achieve their goal.
Today we have partners all over the UK who are housing hundreds of formerly homeless people. We have seen some amazing changes in people just because we have been able to give them a key to their own home. Alcoholics are now free from their alcohol addiction; drug addicts are now free from their drug addiction; unemployed young people with life skills problems are now working. Mothers who had been brutally beaten are now housed with their children in secure accommodation; people with mental health problems are housed and cared for. But most wonderful of all is the number of people who have come to Christ, not through our preaching of the Gospel, but by our doing the Gospel.
In 1997 in Southport we started providing temporary accommodation in our church building for homeless individuals and families. We used our fellowship room, a converted garage, a caravan on the church site and the church cellar. All these places we had sought to make as pleasant as possible, but the local environmental health department informed us that, though we were providing a valuable service, it was contravening the law. So in March 1999 when a young family stood on the steps of our small church, we decided to purchase two flats and Green Pastures was born! The years since then have been some of the most wonderful that we have experienced in the service of God.
Our first resident, a single mother aged 21, had been living in one room with her baby. What a joy it was to be able to help her and to fulfil God's word. In Galatians 2:10 Paul writes: 'They desire only that we should remember the poor: the very thing that I was also eager to do.' It had appeared to us that the 21st Century church was not so eager to help the poor as the early church had been. Perhaps through Green Pastures we shall be able to encourage that eagerness to return. In 1995 we started our first partnership outside Southport and started housing the homeless in Manchester.
We act very simply. How can we help organisational churches and Christian ministries house the homeless and needy that they desire to help. We will do everything we can to help you get from A to B. If you think we can serve you, we look forward to hearing from you.
We try to be as pragmatic as possible whilst always being directed by the Holy Spirit even in the small details.
We build relationship and our partners become good friends and fellow heroes in the Kingdom of God.
We dream of the church ending homelessness in the UK. But its much more than a dream, it will happen. Through our partners we are housing over 1,000 people and we together with ... we will be .... dream of every church in the UK having one house to house the homeless. That would mean an additional 100,000 people would be housed and cared for.
Across the UK we are starting up social enterprises to deal with a wide range of social issues. This programme is aimed at providing mentoring, training and work experience to our residents. It enables residents to gain the skills they need to work for an employer or run their own business. From teaching ex-addicts trades in Rotherham to helping residents grow and sell produce in Woking we believe that thousands of lives can be transformed through training.