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The 587 emergency accommodation project Gateshead

Why The 58:7 Project?

Oasis Community Housing has opened its first same-day emergency accommodation. A six-bed property that has round-the-clock support staff and which has been developed as a psychologically informed environment (PIE); an approach to supporting people out of homelessness, particularly those who have experienced complex trauma.

Each resident will have a robust support plan with support services coordinated around them.

Director of Programmes, Phil Conn, says he has been waiting 10 years – since he started working with the charity – for a project like this to open in the area. Here, he explains why the new emergency accommodation project means so much.

Give shelter to the homeless

So why 58:7? It helps answer the question if I share the scripture from Isaiah chapter 58 where we find the following in verse 7.

Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

Reading that you can probably see why we’ve named the project 58:7 – a clearer description of what we’re seeking to do in the service you’ll struggle to find.

However, as is often the case, context is really important and the context of the whole chapter reveals that it’s so much deeper that just putting a roof over someone’s head, clothes on their back and food in their bellies. The context of this scripture reveals it is about so much more than surface hospitality.

The prophet Isaiah, who wrote this chapter, is pointing out the hypocrisy of the Israelites who complain that God doesn’t answer their prayers despite their observance of rituals and routine prayer. His basic message is; what good are all of your rituals and routines if people are hungry and homeless.

Isaiah is pointing out that action speaks louder than words and faith without action is meaningless.

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

This is your typical putting your money where your mouth is. Oasis Community Housing are good at shouting about injustice, we’re even better at doing something about it.

The 58:7 project offers us a great opportunity to extend our work and deliver a unique service to Gateshead. The 58:7 project is about walking our talk.