Preventing Homelessness in Reading

CEO blog May

Jude* slept rough in a tent away from the town centre. During the winter he was found sleeping in his tent, cold and hungry. He was referred to Launchpad and we housed him within 48 hours. Jude is in his early forties and was desperate to get his life back in order. He immediately signed up for some training courses with Launchpad. He was successful on the courses and started applying for jobs. Last week he was successful in an application and starts work on 29 May. He cannot wait to start work and is hopeful of moving back into the community as soon as we can find him accommodation. I am so pleased for him.

*Name changed to protect the people we help

I recently attended a meeting at the Royal Society of Arts discussing ‘Basic Income’. Basic Income is a new concept looking at life in the post industrial age. The discussion on AI and robotics was interesting with lots of ideas on who would still be in work and would not. However, I felt that I was on board the Titanic, feeling the sea lapping around my feet whilst the people on the top deck of the Titanic were insisting that I join the exercise group!

At times working in the homeless sector is extremely grim, the article below highlights the difficulties of local church leaders in Birmingham.

The headline of the article is ‘Each year the benefit system is more heartless’, that is how it feels. >

Street dance

Our Street Dance collaboration with Reading Rep and Reside Dance has now kicked off with brilliant results. Six clients participated in the first week, with a wonderful mix of abilities enriching the workshop. The tutor led the way, making sure each client contributed a move or an idea for a section of the routine. The ages ranged from 26 to 55 and everyone was included, and reported having a brilliant time.

“I really enjoyed that, keeps you fit as well doesn’t it?” commented one client.

A particularly heart-warming part of the session was the encouragement offered between clients – cheers, clapping and compliments were being passed back and forth for each of the contributions, and ‘freestyles’.

Clients have been talking about the class during the week since, and we are really excited and hopeful that we can keep the momentum going.

 Community work

With the deadline for registering to vote imminent, Launchpad are encouraging our clients to register to vote. Sadly, the majority of them are not currently registered, so we’re holding an event to assist our clients to register. We’ve also been working with Salvation Army and Hamble Court who are now holding similar events. St Mungo’s are assisting rough sleepers to register to vote too.

 TV series of the month

The Halcyon. An interesting look at the life and loves at a 5 star hotel in London in 1940.

Book of the month

The Cold Cold Ground by A. McKinty. Crime fiction in Northern Ireland set in the 1980s with a Catholic Police Officer in the RUC. A really interesting read with a great interplay between reality and fiction.