Report on Bethany Christian Trust by Charlie Rutter, Cameron Brennan, Roxy Hill
Homelessness has been a major problem in Scotland for decades, luckily there are people determined to help every person individually and these people work and volunteer at the Bethany Christian Trust an organisation that has been helping end homelessness for over thirty-five years. They understand that every situation is different and they aim to change lives one person at a time, including young people who are exposed to homelessness.
One story we heard while talking to some of the good people at Bethany, was Nadine’s story. Nadine explained the reason for her homelessness was her mother’s drug addiction, she goes on to say that she was squatting flat to flat in run down hobbles filled with dangerous strangers. The Bethany trust found her and let her stay in Kharis court which is a support complex for young people in west Lothian, Kharis meaning grace. There she developed vital life skills and had what she called a “proper family”. She explains that she never had a father figure before but now she can look up to two of the workers “Paul and Dave” as surrogate fathers.
The Bethany Trust break the mould of most charities by going case by case and trying to develop a personal relationship with every one single person they help, they go above and beyond in every case by;
- Supporting people with their housing · Helping secure education/employment · Supplying rehabilitation · Supplying counselling and a friendly supportive atmosphere · actively getting people off the streets with food vans and nightly placements · integrating people back into society
These things combined makes Bethany one of the most effective and practical charities in Scotland.
Just to show how effective their methods are take a look at these statistics from 2019;
- 92% of people Bethany helped have come out with better tenancy skills · 182 children have been befriended and helped · Over 15,000 cooked meals have been provided · 100% of people helped in Dumfries have moved to stable housing · 87% of young people in Kharis court have successfully moved on into functioning society · Almost 13,000 beds have been provided And there are plenty of ways to get involved for example on the 20th of March 2020 there will be a charity sleep out that starts at 10pm that will raise money for their efforts, you can sign up by contacting the Bethany trust at firstname.lastname@example.org www.bethanychristiantrust.com Or call them at 01315618924 And finally we would like to thank the Bethany trust for allowing us the opportunity to see what they do and help spread the word.
Report on Bethany Christian Trust by Ashley Panel, Ellie Prouse, Matthew
The Bethany Christian Trust was founded on 4th April 1983. Its goal in the long term is to end homelessness in Scotland. There are currently 36,465 homeless adults in Scotland (this isn’t just people who are on the street, but can also be people who are sofa surfing) and 14,075 homeless children. Homelessness is mainly caused by a relationship breakdown, but can also be caused by many other issues, such as a loss of accommodation due to losing a job that was linked to a living space, poor Universal Credit, financial issues, mental health issues and other similar reasons. Addiction to drugs or alcohol is often by-products of homelessness, but can also be a cause.
Staff at Bethany Christian Trust focus on each individual, case by case, and try to do what is best for them personally. They have a few different systems put in place like the Care Van, which goes out every night on the same route to hand out hot food, clothes, etc. to people who need it. They also have a Care Shelter, where they provide hot food and a bed for the night.
It operates through a system of three streams:
Homelessness Prevention: This focuses on community development and getting people involved in different community activities like community choirs and employability workshops. It is also involved in helping those who have come out of prison reconnect with the community.
Crisis Intervention: This helps people to overcome problems with addiction. They also have support on the street, like the Care Van and the Care Shelter.
Housing and Support: This is about supporting those who are homeless to re-establish themselves into more permanent housing. This initiative is called Housing First and it works with people who have been sleeping roughly for years, offering support for those with issues like drink or drugs.
They help people from a wide variety of backgrounds, which include people who are domestic abuse survivors and children. These children are offered support until they are 26 years old. They ran a Buy a Bed virtual gift programme during winter, where people could give £21 for a homeless person to have some food and a bed for the night. This brought in over £100,000 for the programme. Bethany Christian Trust also has branches in Aberdeen and Glasgow, as they have developed in communities where there is a need for them, along with some housing support units in Stirling, Inverness, Fife and Dumfries.
Bethany Christian Trust has a variety of income streams, such as their retail shops, support from Christian communities and churches, individual gifting and grants, etc. They also get a lot of their volunteers from Christian communities.
They have a very strong emphasis on caring for the individual. They are a Christian organisation but they work with people from all backgrounds and faiths – their main priority is helping those who need their help most.
Bethany Christian Trust is also holding a Sleep Out at 10pm on Friday 20th March in Edinburgh and Glasgow which anyone is free to participate in. Simply email them at: email@example.com, phone at 0131 561 8924, or visit their website at: www.bethanychristiantrust.com.