THE CHRISTIAN ACTION shelter for the homeless in Lambeth, South London, designed to house 16 women, catered for 21 on Monday night, and it was a hard night's work for Mrs. Elizabeth Higginson, the social worker in charge, and her four helpers, all under 24.
Mrs. Higginson spent Tuesday, her 44th birthday, trying to catch up on her sleep— vainly because the telephone rang all day. At its opening last October some experts said the shelter would not fulfil any demand. In fact, it has been full ever since.
The experimental shelter accepts, without questions or money, any woman who needs accommodation. Most hostel rules are dropped.
Drug addicts are refused, and so are alcoholics unless they show they genuinely want to stop drinking. So are cornpulsory patients from mental hospitals. Mrs. Higginson's care of the inmates ranges from washing them to giving new heart to suicides and urging them to the practising of their religion, if they have any.
Since the beginning of this experiment, Christian Action has re-opened a similar shelter in Southwark which was closed for some years through lack of demand. The organisation is dissatisfied with the recent survey of the homeless conducted by the National Assistance Board, which "gravely underestimated the need."
They now plan to open shelters in Glasgow and Birmingham, as well as a small hostel in London for women meths drinkers and others with chronic addiction problems.
Meanwhile, says Mrs. Higginson, "at the Lambeth shelter we are trying to do all we can for the women. We don't know how much good it does. There is so little time to tell. We believe this is what Christ wanted." MOTHER TERESA, the nun who has worked in India for 28 years building homes, hospitals, orphanages, leprosariums, clinics and a rehabilitation village, is in England for a few days and on Monday evening, February 26, she will speak about her work at the Convent of the Holy Child, Cavendish Square, London, W.I.
BISHOP BUTLER, Auxiliary of Westminster, Patrick O'Donovan (of the Observer) and Anton Wallich-Clifford (Simon Corn
munity founder) are among the speakers for Christian Encounter Week at the Students' Union of Liverpool University. The week will open with an all-night vigil
next A TALK on "The place of Women in the Church", under the auspices of St, Joan's Alliance, is to be held at Newman House, 15 Carlisle Street, Soho. on March 8.