Container homes in Hamburg

I shared this greeting at the official opening of the ‘Container homes’. It started as an emergency shelter for Winter, which has been developed, and is now a permanent place for homeless. It is located on the back-yard of the men’s hostel Jakob Junker House. There is room for 18 men ad 4 transgender persons.

Dear all who are gathered here,

I am happy to share this special day with you. In various ways you have contributed to make this possible.

Perhaps you raised your voice to say “There are people in our city who need a bed for the night!”

Perhaps you helped with the practical solution of containers and finding money to make it happen.

Perhaps you were involved in the various steps of getting all the formal permissions.

Perhaps you are here to make this place your home for a while and find hope and help for a better life.

On this day we shall celebrate that we have done this together. It is a good sign of what can be achieved when different groups of society work for the common cause of enabling people to live dignified lives.

The word “container” makes me think of how they are transported around the world. But the meaning is first of all a vessel for keeping, containing things in.

The containers here today look very nice. But on trucks and ships we can see rusty and worn containers. The outside is marked by rough handling and being outdoors in all kinds of weather. But even so, they can contain valuable and important goods.

Let that be a picture of the people that will be part of the `container family` here. The look on the outside can vary but we read in the Bible that God says that he doesn’t look on the outside of people but at the heart.

Every person can be a beautiful person, a container where Jesus can live. He doesn’t wait for us to clean up our lives first. If we invite him HE will do the cleaning up by forgiving us our sins.

On behalf of The Salvation Army in Germany I congratulate everyone involved in achieving this. I think we shall celebrate that the Container project has come to an end and the life of the Container family has just begun.

God bless you all.

Partners in achieving this has been the volunteer organizaton the Hanseatic Help.

jjh-2 jjh-1

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