Last week, a homeless man froze to death close to the church in Bonnevoie — a tragedy very close, in more senses than one, to home. The young man who is usually outside St Alphonse on Sunday also sleeps there every night — asking for money, which we are not sure if we should give or not. Homelessness is a complex issue, seldom involving simply the lack of somewhere to live; it often involves addiction, financial misfortune, mental health issues, relationship difficulties and breakdown — or a mixture of these factors.
How can we respond compassionately and effectively to those around us in desperate need? Simply giving money, either individually or from parish funds, is not enough; Lent presents itself as a good opportunity to come together to discern how best to proceed. It is proposed we have an open meeting (in English) in the parish meeting room at some point in the next couple of weeks. It is also proposed that we invite someone from one or more of the Luxembourg organisations involved with homeless people, so that our discussion and planning can be better informed.
It has been suggested that someone from Stem vun der strooss or Caritas, or another organisation could be approached to speak to us. Any suggestions around this topic will be gratefully received, and a date announced for our meeting as soon as possible. Watch this space.