What would you do with a lump sum of inheritance money? Pay off the mortgage, go on holiday, save for your children’s university fund? In 2010, Ed Walker used his inheritance money to buy a house – not for himself, but for young men in his community who were struggling to transition back into life following time in prison.
Seven years on, Ed’s idea has become Hope into Action, a national, award-winning charity that has just opened their 50th home. It also happens to be one of our Cinnamon Recognised Projects. By partnering with Hope into Action, churches can reach out to the homeless within their community and provide the friendship, support and mentoring they need to move on with their lives.
More Than A House
Susan* is just one of those whose life has been transformed by the unconditional love provided by Hope into Action: “No Fixed Abode, that was how I lived my whole adult life. I spent my late teenage years bouncing around foster homes, hostels, and detox centres, until finally I resigned myself to the streets,” she says. “I was a recipe for relapse, accidental death, or suicide, and yet they took a chance. Hope Into Action housed me, a roof over my head, a fixed address for the first time since I was a girl.”
Without a physical address, it’s impossible for individuals, like Susan, to get back into society and find work. But a house alone wasn’t enough to repair the years of abuse, pain and rejection she’d experienced. The love and unrelenting support shown by empowerment workers is what brought lasting transformation.
“She [my empowerment worker] loved me relentlessly, never gave up hope, and I know prayed persistently. When God felt so far away, so judgmental, so punishing; she was ‘hope-with-skin-on’ to me. She loved me in a way I couldn’t feel from an invisible God,” says Susan.
Cinnamon Recognised Projects
The story of Hope into Action is remarkable, as are so many of stories from our other 32 Cinnamon Recognised Projects. They are all testament to what God can do when we give him our passion and our resources – however limited they may seem. When we invest in the things of God, we can expect him to move.
As Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
If you or someone you know is leading an incredible social action project that needs financial support, then consider applying or a Christian Innovation Grant. Grants of £2,000 are available of up to 20 social action projects led by Christians.
* The name, identity, and photo in this article have been changed.