Jared and Helen Hodgson have recently joined us at Jubilee Solihull. As well as being parents to three ever-growing young men, they also run a charity called Hope at Home. Helen shares their vision with us.
Introducing Hope at Home
Hope at Home is a hosting scheme for survivors of modern slavery in the UK. We train and support Christians to welcome a survivor into their homes for an agreed period of time.
It’s estimated that there are 136,000 people in slavery in the UK at any one time. Last year, 7,000 potential victims of modern slavery were identified and rescued. When they’ve been rescued, they are provided with government support, including a room in a safe house, legal advice, counselling and healthcare. This support lasts for 45 days (although in reality it is sometimes more).
Leaving the Safe House
On leaving the safe house, many survivors aren’t legally able to work or claim benefits leaving them destitute, homeless and at high risk of being re-trafficked. Many can’t speak English very well and they have no friends or family here. As well as still processing their trauma, they are without any support. There are some charities who provide housing for survivors who can access benefits, but for those who are destitute there is no other provision except our hosting scheme.
We felt God’s heart for survivors of slavery several years ago and began to pilot the hosting scheme in our own home. After hosting for a year, we then obtained charity status at the start of 2018, rolling this out across the UK.
Equipping the Church
Our role is to equip the church to live out the call of God to walk with the broken and see their lives restored. We do this by training and supporting hosts, making placements and working with external agencies who provide professional support for the survivor. All our hosts are Christians, coming from many different ‘flavours’ of church and they live all over the UK.
We currently have 7 active hosts and 5 more in training.
We’ve placed 5 guests with a total of over 430 nights of safety.
The need is relentless. Our vision is for 500 hosts over the next 3-5 years so we’re rolling up our sleeves ready to work hard!
If you want to see what we do and the difference it makes to a survivor, please watch these videos.
We have seen lives transformed before our eyes as we have loved those who haven’t ever received love.
We’ve celebrated birthdays for the first time, giving presents to people who’ve never had them before.
We’ve made cups of coffee to people who’ve always been the one serving others.
We’ve been shoulders to sob on and family to laugh with.We’ve watched our guests grow from being anxious, withdrawn and traumatised people to confident, loving, fun people who value themselves.
And all we do is welcome them into our home and love them; being the hands, feet and voice of Jesus to them.
You can find more about us on our website at www.hopeathome.org.uk, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@_hopeathome_) or come and chat to us on a Sunday – we love talking about what we do!
Thank you Helen.