Ed Walker founded Hope into Action in 2010. We sat down with Ed to ask him why he started this organisation and where he hopes to see it go.
How did it all start?
After nearly 4 years working in Darfur, serving a refugee population, I found myself working in Peterborough. One morning I was playing with my daughter in a playground and began talking to a man on a bench. His story was the same story you hear hundreds of times across this country every year. He had left prison that morning: no where to go, no one to go to. Drinking the money he had from release, already through a bottle of something pretty strong.
So I said to him, “Don’t worry, I run 3 hostels. I can help. Let me get you into one of them”.
Not one would take him. He was either too old or they don’t take ex-offenders. So I tried other local cities. No one would take him.
As I left him there I felt terribly dis-empowered.
As I looked around though I saw half a dozen churches within a kilometre of where I was standing. I thought about the skills and talents of the people in all those churches: “If only I could get these people together, we could give people like this a home”. And that is how Hope into Action began.
What excites you about Hope into Action?
We want to see the church at the forefront leading the fight against homelessness.
What excites me is that we've got Christians with loads of passion, and Hope into Action enables them to engage in a meaningful and relational way to people who find themselves in a vulnerable situation. Equally, people are sharing their wealth with the poor: millions of pounds have been shared in the form of homes for the homeless.
What is next for Hope into Action?
There is a temptation to be satisfied with the number of houses we offer. But the need is out there and we believe the church is best placed to meet it. Your church is uniquely placed to step in the gap and we can help you to do that. I hope that my story motivates you to join us and get involved.