When Jared and Helen Hodson came across people living in slavery they did more than pray – they took vulnerable folk into their own home.
Seeing how much could be achieved, even with three sons of their own, they set up a charity, Hope at Home, to encourage others to do the same. At CRE Midlands they will explain how widespread trafficking is in the UK and how others can help in the rescue work.
‘More than 100,000 people are in modern slavery here in Britain,’ said Jared Hodson. ‘The Bible makes it very clear – we have a duty to help unfortunate people. We need people to pray, provide finance but also to use a spare room to provide short-term accommodation to help those who are rescued, recover. Many churches have an advice centre or provide food in a soup run but we are challenging them to take that care further by offering short term accommodation to these people at risk or who have been a modern slave.’
The charity was established two years ago but the family had been welcoming people into their home for the previous four years. The experience gave them valuable expertise and helped them create important contacts. It also opened their eyes to the desperate need to provide a ‘family’ and network of support for their guests.
‘We always ask our three boys, now teenagers, before taking someone in and they have never refused anyone,’ said Jared, who worked for a large hotel chain training staff in the UK and other parts of the world, a job which provided ‘lots of hospitality.’
Since 2017 he has been working full time for Hope at Home and his previous experience has been invaluable. Helen is an experienced community development worker and freelance writer and has worked with people of all backgrounds. The couple have surrounded themselves with an experienced team including an immigration lawyer, accountant, former police officer and magistrate as well as working in partnership with agencies across the country.
‘We would love people to visit our stand, understand the enormity of the problem and take up the challenge,’ said Jared.
• Hope at Home are on stand P5 at CRE Midlands