David Bullock’s Story – There from the Start
There was once a time before the Windsor Homeless Project, before Street Angels and Foodshare, before More Than a Shelter and Driven Forward. It was a time when the homeless men and women of Windsor had no place to go locally if they required food or clothing or if they simply wished to sit or sleep in safety. It was a time when for some there was little hope that help would come their way.
But then things started to change.
Ten years ago Reverend Ainsley Swift, Minster Mark Richardson and I began a conversation to address Windsor’s provision for the homeless. Our aim was to create something new that could offer vital support to those members of our community who were in need and to open new pathways for recovery.
The idea was to offer a lunch, once a week, at the Windsor Baptist Church where, aided by a fantastic group of volunteers, we could offer not only food but conversation, compassion and a safe space.
After many months of planning in the June of 2009 the doors to the Windsor Homeless Project were opened and ten of our homeless community were welcomed inside. It is safe to say that at the culmination of that first lunch we knew that something very special had begun.
The project soon started to grow. There were more lunchtime sessions during the week, a shower was installed, donations of clothing and food were received and the team of volunteers began to expand. Most importantly of all the homeless of Windsor were being helped and were willing to trust and engage with our new concept. Over time partner agencies began to become involved with the project too in order to assist us in addressing the varied needs of the homeless guests.
From the seeds that were sown in 2009 a wonderful project has now blossomed. It is one that has both changed lives and saved lives and for many has given a new and positive life direction. To this day the project continues to develop and to look at even more ways of supporting those in need.
I feel incredibly lucky to have taken this journey with the Windsor Homeless Project and to still be involved to this day. For me, what the project shows and proves every week is just what can be achieved when like-minded, compassionate, people come together with a desire to make a change and to help those who need it most.