Homeless initiative is uniting faiths

v Leicester Progressive Jewish Congregation has teamed up with other faiths in the area in a project to help the citys homeless.


A shelter offering overnight bed, board and support for 10 homeless men will rotate between the synagogue, Anglican and Catholic churches, a Muslim community centre and a Hindu temple over the next 11 weeks. Quakers and Sikhs will provide meals and additional support.

More than 200 people have volunteered for the scheme, managed by One Roof, a consortium of independent faith, community and voluntary sector organisations supporting the homeless and vulnerable in Leicester.

The shul’s Michele Benn said that “when we told our 85 members that our sanctuary, our worship hall, was going to be a night shelter for the homeless once a week, we got an amazing response.

“To date, 35 of our members are actively involved, ranging from a 93-year-old — who can’t get out in the evenings but is providing tea and coffee — to parents of our youngest babies who have formed a team of three families to cook. We are also swimming in offers of soup.

“It’s bringing people together in an unprecedented way. Members from the Orthodox synagogue, Quakers, friends with no professed faith, work colleagues, friends of colleagues and complete strangers are offering to help.”

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