Marking Threshold’s 40th year, Chief Executive, John-Mark McCafferty, explores the fundamental meanings of home
I find it impossible to capture in words the terrifying and crushing feeling when someone receives a phone call, a letter or a legal document that tells them they are on the brink of losing their home. Can you imagine it? In that moment, most of the certainties in your life fall away.
Our home provides lifesaving shelter, warmth and protection, but it is also the foundation for the rest of our lives too, for our children and families. It gives everything else meaning.
A home, an address, is like a passport to life. Everything you do is directly connected to your secure sense of home. When that is taken away, your centre disappears. That’s a horrifying feeling.
Our home, whether public, rented or private is a kind of sacred space. A gathering place. A place for everyday rituals. It’s where our children play, and learn and grow. Where relationships strengthen and blossom. Where births, achievements, graduations, losses, comings of age, are framed and remembered.
When home is lost, our own sense of humanity, worth and identity hangs in the balance. Without a home, it’s so hard to feel human or prove to the world you’re from somewhere; that you have an identity; that you are worth something.
That’s why preventing homelessness and saving people’s homes is so fundamental and so critical.
Every day, Threshold saves 9 families from homelessness through our vital frontline services. That’s close to 200 families every month we help to keep their homes. We simply couldn’t do this vital work without the public’s support.
And as Threshold celebrates our 40th Anniversary, we are committed to continuing our fight against homelessness. We’ll continue to save homes, one family at a time