No, it’s not a newly-created state in Africa, nor is it a word in “tongues”. CHANA stands for Churches Homeless Action North Ayrshire. It is a recently-formed group of representatives of various churches in the area and the aim is to provide whatever kind of help might be needed with the problem of homelessness. As far as can be ascertained, there is not a problem with “rough-sleepers” in our area, i.e. people are not sleeping on the streets. However, a fairly large number do not have their own tenancies. Some are accommodated in one of the two hostels which are run by North Ayrshire Council and some have been allocated their own tenancies but lack the resources to turn them into comfortable homes.
The causes of homelessness are many and varied and, at some stage in the future, action of a more “political” nature, or perhaps a befriending service, may be organised by the group. For now, however, the main help offered consists of providing items such as toiletries and cleaning materials (there is a list of required goods in a basket in the Church Hall). Donations may be made there, or left alongside the contributions for the Crisis Bags. CHANA also supports local Syrian refugee families, who have been allocated houses in the area. The group is working closely with the Council’s Housing Department to ensure that assistance is given wherever it is most needed. Meetings take place every six weeks in the High Kirk Hall.
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