Diocese of Portsmouth

Helping the hungry and homeless

Homelessness is an issue that affects every village, town and city across the UK, and is increasing every year. With changes to the benefits system, an uncertain and sometimes volatile employment market, and a greater complexity to mental health conditions, the reasons for someone becoming homeless are never ‘black and white’ and contribute to an ever-growing and changing need for help and intervention. The Church has always been on the forefront of helping those who find themselves homeless, by running its own projects and supporting other organisations. Among the crucial support we give are projects that provide food, accommodation and conversation to those who are most vulnerable.

Find out below how you can help.

Hope Into Action

Hope into Action is a national charity that is working in partnership with churches across the country to find homes for those who need them - including in the Portsmouth area. It encourages churches to buy homes to provide accommodation for those who are homeless, and to provide groups of people who can provide practical and emotional support to tenants.

Portsmouth's Hope Into Action team provide houses with support for people who are homeless for a variety of reasons, including single people and families, people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, people who've been in prison, and refugees.

The churches provide supportive friendship, investment, prayer and a caring community for our tenants. Hope into Action manages the referral process, the tenancy and house maintenance, and provide ongoing professional support.

The vision is to see these tenants make the changes that can transform their lives. More details are on www.portsmouth.hopeintoaction.org.uk. And you can read more about our churches' work with Hope into Action from our magazine here and here.

Sunday Supper

Inspired by the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:38-40, St Simon’s Church, Southsea, open their doors every Sunday at 6pm to welcome people who maybe homeless, vulnerable and lonely.

They welcome people to come and share a simple meal, doing this in place of their evening service. St Simon’s has been practicing this hospitality every single Sunday for nearly 30 years.

Churches Homeless Action

Churches Homeless Action is a voluntary group of homelessness organisations and Churches that works to ensure that homelessness issues are kept on the churches’ agenda in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire.

They support local homelessness services and charities through our annual Christmas appeal which has been running since 2003. Over the last 19 years they have raised more than £180,000, all of which has gone directly to homeless people.

Their Christmas Appeal is launched in the autumn each year where they ask for donations of £5 gift vouchers or cards from stores such as Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Argos. The vouchers are then sent directly to supported homelessness charities and services that are based in the Portsmouth area.

For more information, to get in involved in helping the homeless or if your church or group would like a speaker from a CHA supported organisation, email enquiries@churcheshomelessaction.org or visit churcheshomelessaction.org.

  • If you would like to make a donation please send your Christmas Card (in an unsealed envelope) and gift cards to: The Deanery office, St Faith’s Church, Crasswell Street, Portsmouth PO1 1HT
  • If you wish to make a financial donation and wish to pay by BACS please contact Rev Bob White for details. Cheques should be made payable to St Mary’s PCC.

Friday Fridge

Friday Fridge is the name given to the weekly get-togethers, late on Friday nights, at St Jude's Church, Southsea. The idea was to give those who were out late at night free coffee, bacon sandwiches or cheese toasties, and the chance to meet others and enjoy a spiritual chillout. All are welcome, and the group has recently attracted those with addictions, mental health problems or housing issues. The group meets on the first three Fridays of each month, from 9pm-11pm.