A week or two ago I posted some of my  reflections on going to the Men's Shelter run by the Salvation army called the Anchorage.   There were a number of comments including some recommended reading.

Just the other day two new books arrived in the mail from the Book Depository for me.

Sider - Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, and Vanier - From Brokenness to Community.

I was also watching this video (see below) about homelessness in America.  It reminded me about when I was at Uni studying subjects like Social Policy and in particular some of the stuff I learnt about homelessness there.  You are said to be in housing stress (you can read some Australian specific stuff here) if you're paying more than 30% of your income to cover the basic costs of providing a house for yourselves (i.e. just the rent or morgate repayments).  If you're paying over 50% you're said to be in significant housing stress.  It's easy to see that it's not hard to get into housing stress!  For example to take out a small loan that would buy you a one bedroom home about 2hrs drive from Melbourne of 200000 with an interest rate of about 8% you need to repay 1500 a month.  To buy anything close to the city or in the Doncaster area you would need a lot more!  Which means of course, you have to earn lots to afford a home.  It's easy to imagine things could spiral out of control, like the loss of a job causing you to lose your house and become homeless.  And perhaps it's sometimes easy to understand why some of the people in our church aren't as generous as we think they ought be.

(HT to the Rethinking Youth Ministry guys for this video)