Nothing explains the impact of community work better than the stories and voices of people directly involved on the ground: the project workers, volunteers, faith leaders and local people.
Streetlytes-UK is a unique homelessness support charity in London that is run and managed by people who have overcome addiction or homelessness themselves.
Streetlytes' founder, Rudi Richardson, was a drug addict and was living in a hostel after being homeless for many years, when he had a profound spiritual experience of being called by God to help others like him. Rudi's response - taking food out to the homeless people sleeping rough around Victoria station - showed him the need for regular, ongoing outreach with the hungry and homeless in West London.
One of the key parts of Streetlytes' work with homeless people and addicts is the ability to relate on a first-hand basis. Rudi says, "I felt called, as it were, to create and organise a charity of like-minded people such as myself who have recovered; to be able to go out and to reach out and touch the homeless, the marginalised, the foreigner, the alien, in a way they can identify. Our core staff are ex-homeless, ex-prison, ex-whatever, and we have recovered. But recovery for us is a life-long process, and as a result of what we do and what I do, we also work on our own salvation every day by being of service."
Streetlytes currently run a daily drop-in service at the King George's hostel in Westminster, outreach in Shepherd's Bush, and drug awareness sessions. Staff and volunteers also work with individuals at the drop-in sessions to help them access help with health issues and addiction problems, and find accommodation.
David, who works with Streetlytes as a Liasion Officer, was formerly homeless and now helps others to find accommodation. Watch the film to hear David's story.
You can sponsor Rudi and help us to support others like him. Find out how to sponsor a Christian community hero.
Watch more films
Julie-Anne is the Community Network Manager at St Andrew's church in Clubmoor, a highly-deprived area of Liverpool. In this short film we meet Jo and Craig who have been helped through the work Julie-Anne manages. Having faced major issues with substance abuse, Jo and Craig knew they needed help - watch the film to see how St Andrew's changed their lives.
How would your life work out if you had been regularly kicked and beaten as a child? Would it affect the way you care for your own children? And when there's nothing to do and nowhere to go at night, what's the alternative to hanging about or drinking? Watch the film to find out how the Source offers an alternative.
Chris and Anna Hembury moved into Boulevard, one of the most deprived areas of Hull (and the country), as a way of serving community right from its heart. Over time, they have created strong relationships with local people and have seen lives transformed. Watch the film to see Anna and Chris's work in action.
Refugees and asylum seekers are vulnerable, often destitute and without networks or means of support. Based at St John's Sparkhill, Narthex is an expression of the church's mission to care for the lost, broken and lonely .