Homeless in Cinderford
A conversation about a homeless man's plight this week led someone to suggest contacting the Salvation Army.
An inclusive community must surely include those who fall between the cracks and a systemic approach is needed to help them rejoin the community from which they have become disenfranchised.
Several years ago , I attended Barnwood Trust workshops on Asset based Community Development at the Salvation Army premises in Broadwell.
I was interested to read about their person-centered approach to assisting those in need. The term derives from the work of humanist Carl Rogers who believed genuine acceptance and empathy are the water sun and nutrients of human flourishing. Rogers argued that by helping people access to the resources they need to resolve their own problems, they could flourish and grow.
It's something which the UN Generall Assembly has endorsed:
“The anti-values of greed, individualism and exclusion should be replaced by solidarity, common good and inclusion. The objective of our economic and social activity should not be the limitless, endless, mindless accumulation of wealth in a profit-centred economy but rather a people-centred economy that guarantees human needs, human rights, and human security, as well as conserves life on earth. These should be universal values that underpin our ethical and moral responsibility.”
(Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, the President of the United Nations General Assembly speaking in 2009)
The organisation that I run from Parkend, is known as People-Centered Economic Development and Carl Rogers was a primary influence.
Our founder was a homeless man whose committment to those in greatest need, cost him his life.
In Parkend today, where I also chair the Memorial Hall committee, we've got council backing for compulsory purchase of an adjoining derelict premises to build an inclusive community facility .
The shop will be used to create a retail opportunity for local arts and crafts.
We hope to discuss this on Tuesday, when we plan to attend the meeting at Sixteen Cafe in Coleford.