Last month, I visited the Good Shepherd Ministry based in Darlington Street Church.The Good Shepherd Ministry started 15 years ago and opens six days a week in the centre of Wolverhampton offering a safe place with hot meals, takeout food, drinks and advice.
They work alongside a range of partners to tackle both food waste and food hunger. Offering a meal in their dining room allows them to interact and communicate with individuals to get an understanding of the barriers and problems they are facing. They invite a range of agencies into our centre including Hairdressers, Dentist, Chiropodist, Optician, Drug and Alcohol agencies and Wolves to Work employability support. They offer individuals a postal address and rough sleeper’s a shower and laundry facilities as well as emergency clothing, support services and pastoral care.
As need rises in our city, we should be thankful we have the Good Shepherd Ministry. This organisation feeds and supports hundreds of people every week. It provides not only food but a range of other support including helping people trying to find work. Demand is growing, in part because of the debt problems caused by Universal Credit. The Good Shepherd provides a vital lifeline for many people and the rise in demand they are seeing shows how deep are the problems of poverty and low incomes in the city.