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It’s Cold Outside

“Do you know how much it takes to put your backside on Princes Street and say “here I am” to the whole world?  No one wants to do that! You’re totally exposed.  It’s the most humiliating, degrading thing anyone could go through.  You’re ashamed.  You’re totally naked.”

I was in a really bad place, I was 6.5 stone. Eventually I cut ties with every relationship; my family, my kids. In the end I was walking around town with a sleeping bag, totally lost. I had nowhere to go.”

Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for people sleeping rough.

“You have nowhere to go and you see everyone passing you going somewhere.  You know they’re going to a home, a family, but you don’t have that.  Where do I fit in amongst all that? Hope gets taken away from you.  I’ve been through like 8-9 rehabilitation centres, psychiatrists, CPN’s.  No one got near me, I didn’t know how to let people in.  For three decades I was basically sedated, didn’t even know what was going on.”

One day John felt drawn to Bethany’s residential support centre, Bethany Christian Centre.

“I didn’t even have a change of clothes.  The staff took me to one of the shops and got me a change of clothes and underwear.  There was a peace at the centre –  I just felt safe.  I had the support, I had love, care and people around me who didn’t judge. I was healed in there.”

John’s life has changed since he came into Bethany, and he has now moved into his own flat supported by Bethany Homes.

You guys, you invested time in me.  That’s where it started. That’s where I learned to open up. That’s where I learned to trust people. That’s how I learned it was ok to be upset and grieve for my family. I got absolutely amazing support in there.  Support is everything.”

John now uses his own story to help other people. He has a job working as an Outreach Support Worker for a local charity, is a leader in his Church and volunteers with a Prison Ministries service. 

John was able to find warmth and healing thanks to the Bethany Christian Trust. Sadly there are many others like John cold and alone, who desperately need a place where they can get the right support and opportunities. 

Please donate to our Winter Appeal today.

Donate your furniture

Many people on low incomes starting a new tenancy lack basic items. Lack of furniture is a major factor in tenancy breakdown and contributes to episodes of repeat homelessness.

We urgently need good quality furniture to turn empty houses into homes. We can also use your donated items to generate vital funds through our shops. Please help us meet the needs of someone in a housing crisis today. By having a clear out, you can make an amazing contribution to someone’s life.

For further information or to arrange an uplift in Edinburgh, please contact us on 0131 561 8904

A map of our shops is here. Please donate and change someone’s life forever.