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The Dark Pool of Sadness

April 21, 2008

Sometimes the deep subterranean reservoir of the world’s pain seeps onto the surface to settle in stagnant and lifeless pools where we can see it.

Yesterday, we had a fire at Hosford House, EBM’s hostel for people who are homeless, and they were made homeless a second time. Thankfully nobody was seriously hurt and we managed to rehouse everybody before nightfall, at least temporarily. But I was able to go back to my wife and tell her of the awfulness of things.

Today, as we made plans to get back in action, and we heard of the timescales involved and faced the hard realities of the potential need for prosecutions, of duty to care and people’s employment, that putrid swamp stained our shoes again.

Ambulance chasers phoned us, sensing opportunity to make money. The pastoral impulse was threatened by the apparent necessity of pressing charges, lest insurance doesn’t pay up. Journalists seeking to fill columns and slots.

Then, towards the end of the day, I passed two young men in the empty. closed foyer of the Mission. Both lives scarred by dysfunction, one, the older brother of a much more troubled younger man, trying to do what was right by his sibling; to say sorry; to seek help; to somehow undo what was done to him in the past and thereby interrupt a cycle that has been turning for God knows how long.

Dear Lord it would break your heart.

From → Reflection

  1. Was really sorry to hear about the fire at the hostel. Senseless destruction in the face of hope and rebuilding lives.

  2. John permalink

    Very sorry to hear of the fire. Your poignant post brings home further the terrible drain on energy and hope such a tragedy brings. Love and prayers to all at the heart of it….

  3. Thanks for your post. And the work you do at EBM… Is there anything we can do?

  4. Where are the residents being housed in the interim?

  5. So sorry to hear. I’ve spread the word among our team members, and we’ll be thinking of you all. I hadn’t thought of the junk that would follow the tragedy. It’s a broken, broken world. Blessings and wisdom as you seek to repair one part of it. . .

  6. Thank you all for your kind thoughts. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind few days, but staff have responded wonderfully well, despite carrying their own uncertainties about jobs and income (though we were able to reassure everyone yesterday). And we also continue to follow-up with residents, some of whom have settled well in alternative accommodation, though others are still coming round seeking out the team members they were key-worked by.

    One member of staff said yesterday that people are finding that Hosford is the Hilton of hostels in Belfast – and that’s mainly because of the level of care the staff team extend.

    We’re all very grateful nobody was seriously injured and the building looks like it’s repairable and will re-open.

    Thanks again.

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