a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.
I work with the Romanian community at Webber Street – a group of around 20-25 men.
Having been visiting Romania for the past nine years, I have a good understanding of where these men have come from and what we send them back to if they don’t succeed here.
This provides a tension between knowing the reality of their lives in Romania and so wanting to help them to succeed in the UK, whilst knowing that their chances are not necessarily much greater here.
The government does not provide housing services for newly arrived Romanians so unless they secure a job and are able to sustain rent then homelessness is an inevitable lifestyle for many.
However, many do not have a good grasp of English, hampering their chances of establishing themselves here. We provide English lessons twice a week and we also advise our guests to go to colleges providing lessons in the area, which many do.
The Catch 22 is that even after securing a job, if you have no bank account it is hard or impossible to get paid.
No permanent address = no bank account; no bank account = no job; no job = no permanent address…and so the homeless cycle continues.
This can be a very daunting problem to work out and at Webber Street we are in the process of working out the best steps to take whilst loving and nurturing those in our care. Just because we don’t have the practical solutions to problems doesn’t mean we can write off a person.
A true hope
The hope I have for everyone who comes to Webber Street is that God is greater, and all things are possible with him. He sees their worth and doesn’t discard them and that is the reason for persisting in compassion and love in the face of impossibility.
Sometimes speaking the truth in love is helping them more than feeding them an idea of a dream unreachable. But the one truth we can and do provide at Webber Street is of a hope reachable and durable and that is of Jesus Christ who came to rescue them and bring them home to him.
Please pray for wisdom in giving advice and how to best find solutions to these problems.
Written by Serena Dalton