Before we start our week I thought it might be good to put something up here about what we're doing and why. Simply put, we are living as if homeless on the streets of Oxford for seven days to raise awareness and money for homeless people and projects in the city. It is often noted that, for a city of its size, Oxford has a very large homeless population. We are just two local boys fed up with ignoring the people we see living rough or mumbling "sorry, mate" as we walk by. So for one week we are going to (as much as possible) step into their shoes in order to help people see the struggles they face and do what we can to support them. We know that sleeping out for one week is not the same as having to do it for real, as we'll be going back to our homes at the end of it, and we're keen not to patronise people - we really don't want people to feel like this is just a game to us. At the same time, we do want the whole thing to be as "authentic" as possible, so we won't be taking any money or food with us and plan to do whatever we can to get by (within the law, of course).
We have been collecting sponsorship, hoping to raise over a thousand pounds for local projects working with homeless and vulnerable people. The two projects we are supporting are the Gatehouse and Emmaus Oxford - check out their websites, http://www.oxfordgatehouse
If you are of the praying pursuasion, we would also very much value your prayers. It's not far from the minds of either of us that Jesus cared a whole lot about the poor and disenfranchised and spent most of his life among them. If you would like to pray for safety and that this week would have a positive impact on the lives of homeless people in Oxford, that would be wonderful.
That's all for now - thanks for reading!