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Providing Hope and a Hot Shower

During a busy service day recently, a gentleman guest came to Matthew’s House who we had not seen before. He was rather anxious, didn’t know anyone and seemed quite distressed. He was welcomed by one of our volunteers who had found him sitting outside on his own. The gentleman got talking to them and said he’d been told to come to Matthew’s House as, “Matt’s will help you if anyone can.” With a little encouragement, the gentleman came inside and was welcomed by one of our receptionists, who learnt that this guest had no hot water in his flat and had been unable to wash properly for many days. He asked if he could have a shower but looked crestfallen as he didn’t know about our referral system. (We use this system so that we know that anyone coming to us to use our wonderful shower or laundry facilities, is known to other support services who can help them get back on their feet).

Thom had a chat with the guest and found that he was in Family Housing accommodation. A representative from Platfform, one of our amazing support services in the city, happened to be with us that day, so we arranged for the guest to have a chat with them to see what we could sort out. Within half an hour, Platfform had contacted the guest’s housing provider, arranged for a plumber to visit his flat the next day and completed a referral slip for him to use the shower! Within the next hour this guest ate a delicious hot meal, dessert and two coffees and enjoyed a lovely hot shower too!

By the time he left Matthew’s House that day this guest was smiling from ear to ear. He looked like a new man. Volunteers and other guests had chatted with him, everyone knew his name, he had a full belly, a clean body and the comfort of knowing that his flat would have its plumbing problem sorted out the following day! Sometimes it can take weeks, months, even years to resolve the challenges our guests face. Sometimes all we can do is be there for them as their problems continue. On this occasion it was so uplifting for us all to be able to welcome this guest and work together with other support services to provide hospitality and hope in the moment.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted.” Aesop