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Showing posts from April, 2013

Faith and spirituality in the lives of homeless people

Naturally, I never allow my petty prejudices to taint my relationships with people - except for when I do. Take the other day. I’m walking along Peckham High Street and coming towards me with his familiar scuttling gait is Leonard Taylor. I’m eager to talk with Leonard as I know he has been re-housed locally after 17 years living rough.The last I’d heard he was struggling to settle, appearing in his old haunts, hanging around the soup runs, talking nostalgically about his former life of sleeping on cardboard in shop doorways and deploring the arid existence of the resettled homeless person: housed but friendless.

Yet the usually remorselessly dour Leonard responds joyfully when I inquire about his situation.He explains that he had a knock on the door from some Jehovah’s Witnesses and, after taking up their offer to attend a service, has joined the local congregation.Immediately flashing up in my mind are the following highly pejorative verbs: brainwash, capture, indoctrinate. ‘Are they…