I find puzzles frustrating and my patience level is tested constantly when I attempt them!
However I know many people who love puzzles, often taking them on holidays as a family activity. Completion of a puzzle brings with it a sense of achievement and triumph. But one thing is critical for that to be achieved – all pieces are needed to complete the puzzle.
Winter is a time when people’s missing pieces become evident. For the homeless, it is a reminder of lost families, careers and hopes, reflecting on past mistakes and wondering about an uncertain future.
Homelessness can be caused by poverty, unemployment, a critical shortage of affordable housing, or triggered by domestic and family violence, family breakdown, mental illness, sexual assault, addiction, financial difficulty, gambling and social isolation.
At its heart, homelessness is about a lack of connection. Homeless people are often disconnected from themselves because of abuse, mental illness, drug and alcohol addictions; and disconnected from healthy relationships with family, friends and the wider community.
By providing our clients with a taste of authentic community, BCS LifeCare is able to empower people to find the missing pieces of their lives. We provide a range of services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness:
- BCS Crystal Street Community Shop, in partnership with Petersham Baptist Church, builds relationships with local boarding house residents and helps to address their many unmet needs through the community garden project and a weekly BBQ.
- BCS Darcy House provides free meals, clothing, showers and referrals for street-based sex workers and people who are homeless or marginalised in the Port Kembla and surrounding areas.
- BCS Chisholm Care accommodation provides medium term housing for up to 18 months for women and their children escaping domestic violence.
- BCS Warilla North Community Centre, located in a high-needs community in the Illawarra region, provides a range of services to enhance the local community and empower individuals and families, particularly through the microfinance program.
- BCS Reaching Home, in Newcastle, plays an active role in addressing homelessness in the Hunter region through BCS MayCare Community Centre and Night Vision.
As Jesus looked at the crowds, his heart was full of compassion as he saw that they were in need (Matthew 9: 36), and the Samaritan felt deep compassion for the Jew (Luke 30:33). It is this same compassion that compels BCS staff and volunteers to reach out to people in need and seek to help them find the missing pieces to bring wholeness and healing to their lives.