The House of Hope is a neighbourhood organization with three walk-in centres in Rotterdam South, in the districts of Tarwewijk, Katendrecht and Beverwaard.
In these neighbourhoods, a large number of residents live in poverty and loneliness. Many residents struggle with unemployment, debts and an uncertain housing situation.
Also in these neighbourhoods with large numbers of children, there are many broken relationships and one-parent families. House of Hope was launched in 2004 by the International Christian Fellowship community in Rotterdam. The organization has since grown into a community of 350 volunteers and 16 paid employees. House of Hope provides social, diaconal and pastoral work for the full breadth of society, regardless of age, race, culture, religion or situation.
In the neighbourhoods where we are active, we want to serve people by facilitating their access to care and activities that bring them together. We focus primarily on groups that are difficult to reach and those who are at risk of of falling between two stools due to complex circumstances.
Every day, residents can come to our walk-in living room for a cup of coffee and a listening ear. We also visit people at home. We see people and their talents and encourage them to participate as volunteers and become part of the "family". In this way we take care of ...
More life in the neighbourhood!
SKIN-Rotterdam develops various activities for its supporters, the international and migrant churches in Rotterdam. The main goal is to equip the church leadership, mostly volunteers, to optimally serve the community.
In 2018 they reached a total of 113 churches, eight of which were Dutch and the other international. Seventy-four churches have called on individual guidance & advice from SKIN-Rotterdam, and 335 people from 68 churches have participated in projects and / or meetings.
Projects include: Language Plan, Consolidation & Expansion, Workforce (untapped talents), Welcome Reception (Churches & Refugees), Coach at the Kitchen Table ('WMO-loket') and Women in Ministry. SKIN-Rotterdam provides advice and organizes courses, information and network meetings to stimulate cooperation and exchange.
Themes covered in projects, courses and meetings include: Dutch language, labor market participation, housing, financial management, project work, female leadership, forced marriage, parenting, youth work, dementia among older migrants, privacy law (AVG), political debate, receiving and integrating refugees. The work supports churches by equipping them to work with different target groups in society.
Wim didn't use to understand the homeless: “I thought it was their own fault. I now look at it differently. Sometimes you can't do anything about it. It's bad luck and a combination of circumstances. Try not to judge people. You don't know their story. It's helped that people have shown concern for me ".
Wim (58) is neither addicted nor confused. Yet, after his marriage broke down, he lived for six months on the street: “I could never have imagined that I would become homeless. I can hardly believe I experienced this.” Because he wasn't addicted and wasn't a psychiatric patient, he didn't qualify for help or night care. That was hard.
Eventually he came to Stem in de Stad: “The street pastor looked out for me and so I got a place in the Salvation Army night care for a month. I used those thirty days to arrange everything: provide postal address, apply for social benefits, search for a room. It worked. I now have a roof over my head again."
The walk-in centre is the beating heart of Stem in de Stad. Eleven shifts a day, 7 days a week, Stem in de Stad is open and offers a total of 65 volunteers a cup of coffee, a listening ear and cordiality. It's about meeting our fellow citizens, who are lonely, far from their country or family, homeless or semi-homeless, or who have problems. Social isolation occurs at all ages, and at all levels in society. Stem in de Stad is about real human contact between people: inclusion rather than aloofness or exclusivity. Services include social and medical consultation hours, debt-counseling, courses for refugees and a womens' cafe. And three times a week there's a hot meal for those who need it. Stem in de Stad has been run by nore than 250 volunteers, for more than 30 years.
Whatever your opinions, drug-use is a fact. People use drugs for many reasons, often unfortunate, even tragic. The risks, particularly of hard drug-use, are known. Recovery is difficult. Drugs, often sought as liberation, rob users of their freedom. Yet they continue to lure people, and problems arise for users and for those around them.
Opinions differ about what's best for drug users, measures against nuisance, tackling drug trafficking. But we agree on one thing:
Whoever is in need must get help.
God loves every person, whoever or whatever they are.
That is the fundamental principle of the Amsterdam Drug Pastoraat. Accepting people as they are, and valuing human dignity unconditionally. Helping people find meaning in life, and celebrating their bond with God and humanity.
The Drug Pastoraat Amsterdam assists drug users impartially, helping them get support in their daily care, as far as they want or need it. Drug Pastorate Amsterdam points the way to assistance, mediating where possible with authorities and government institutions.
The Protestant Diaconia Amsterdam has been committed to a just and merciful society for centuries. From compassion and openness, they support homeless people, refugees, people who are lonely or who live in poverty. The Diaconia does this together with Amsterdammers who look after each other and show people that they are not alone!