Papanui youth (New Zealand) have started a Feed the Homeless Project in Christchurch. Youth elder Beulah Thoroughgood says, “I am humbled by the generosity of our church. It is amazing to watch our church come together.”
As a result of the catastrophic series of earthquakes from 2010 to 2013, many Christchurch residents were made homeless. Finding accommodation near the city is still difficult and many people also suffer mild to severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
Unfortunately this combination means some residents continue to struggle with what most of us would consider normal everyday life.
As a result, those who were already vulnerable due to abuse and/or mental illness have found the added trauma of the earthquakes, the destruction of their familiar surroundings and the stress of life too much to manage. There are many more homeless people now than at any time in the past and as the city struggles to rebuild, services for the vulnerable are stretched beyond capacity.
Papanui youth investigated and discovered that a Christchurch boarding school is feeding the city’s homeless during school term but is unable to do so during school holidays. The youth have enlisted the support of the church family to prepare simple, nutritious, hot food dishes and filled rolls, ensuring that the homeless can continue to enjoy a decent meal during the school holidays.
The young people are enjoying the opportunity to interact with the homeless and to work together as a team with the church family to do something useful in the community.