The FHA launched the 13 Houses Campaign almost a year ago to change the lives of 10000 homeless people. We wanted to inspire Vincentians around the world to join efforts, but we never closed the door to go beyond the Family. Now, the Campaign is starting to inspire people beyond the Vincentian Family and even the Catholic Church.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America approached the FHA after learning about our work with homeless people and 13 Houses Campaign. The GOA has recently joined the UN NGO Working Group to End Homelessness. The WGEH is a coalition of organisations with the common goal of achieving global measurement of street homelessness, put an end to it and to spread effective strategies across member states
We were more than happy to support them on this journey with our knowledge and experience. Last September, ten Pan-Orthodox organisations came together in New York for a first meeting on homelessness:
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35-40).
As Orthodox Christians, we are called upon to serve our fellow human beings in a relational way that recognizes each individual’s humanity, value and dignity.
Our theology as Orthodox Christians informs us to be the Church. Our identity inspires us to shine Christ’s love in our service to others through Christ-centered empowerment, illuminated by the relational nature of the Eucharist. In recognizing that we are broken and spiritually homeless in need of Christ, we also understand that beyond a physical shelter, each person requires to be served as a whole human being in need of a home; spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally with dignity and respect.”
Now they are focused on creating a common language and approach, and have established a network of ministries and people working on homelessness in the United States.
We welcome the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to the fight against homelessness all over the world, as we look forward to supporting each other work from our common Christian beliefs.