Sometimes it is too easy to focus on what’s not happening in our city. We can be quick to moan about what’s broken and look for someone to blame. We have a habit of blaming our politicians and civic leaders for what goes on (or doesn't) in our society – we forget that we actually all have a significant part to play in shaping our culture.
Every day we choose and prioritise what we personally tolerate or commend, by either ignoring it or participating in it. What kind of society do you want to live in?
This week I was asked to come and speak at Glasgow’s Annual Homelessness Conference. Glasgow City Chambers Banqueting hall was full with over 200 delegates from the sector. Local authority, Social work services, charities, housing associations, NHS, not-for-profits and many more gathered to encourage, discuss and challenge each other as how best to serve the city’s most vulnerable.
I was able to share that Glasgow actually recorded some improvement in homelessness in the last five years – with a 38% reduction in applications for accommodation. However sadly what is being recorded is only a small percentage of the picture. Many non-statutory organisations either don’t record what they are witnessing or if they do collate data, have no vehicle to share that information with all the other agencies in the sector.
We know we have a problem of homelessness in Glasgow but the more I look into the problem the more complex it becomes. We recognised that we actually have to take the time to dig deep and uncover what’s going on and encourage many to share data and pull resources together to make a difference.
Working in isolation, no matter how capable you are, is nothing compared to working together.
The Apostle Paul challenged the *Church in Corinth to recognise that the Church is like a body, one body – many parts. It is a community of God given gifts, talents and skills. Working in harmony and encouraging each other the Kingdom of God can be seen, experienced and enjoyed.
There is recognition that across the city people aren't working well together. As a Christ centred organisation we have an opportunity to model collaboration and community. We can share.
What kind of society do I want to live in? One where there is a sense of responsibility, community and compassion – where we all work together.
*1st Corinthians 12