Role of faith in supporting homeless and vulnerable people
Lemos&Crane’s research into the needs and aspirations of homeless and vulnerable people consistently recognises faith as being an aspect of life that contributes to recovery, rehabilitation, and resettlement (alongside family, relationships and work) – see Steadying the Ladder and Dreams Deferred.
Faith, also, is a significant motivation for many practitioners who support vulnerable people, openly so where they work for a faith-based organisation. But faith is often ‘taboo’ in other settings that provide support, as it is in much of professional and public life; tolerated and respected, but not comfortably and productively discussed. Our research suggests that many support workers and carers feel reticent about discussing faith with their clients. They’d “rather not go there”. They fear “opening up a can of worms”. The result is a missed opportunity to engage with a service user’s faith as an integral part of support planning.
Lemos&Crane will be working with The Connection at St Martin's and other providers of support for homeless and vulnerable people to:
- Explore through interviews with service users the role of faith in their lives
- Identify the practical support needed by service users to help them engage fully with their faith – eg through links with places of worship and networks
- Develop the vocabulary, content and structure needed by support workers for confident and purposeful conversations with service users about faith.
Funders including the St John Southworth Fund have made possible this ground-breaking project by Lemos&Crane.
Contact us for more information.