Care Van is a joint venture with Bethany Christian Trust.
The Care Van operates in the city centre, routinely visiting specific sites, typically connecting each night with around 60 homeless and vulnerable people who are struggling to survive on the streets.
Soup, food, hot drinks, clothing, friendship, encouragement and advice are available 363 nights a year. The exceptions are on Hogmanay and the closing night of the Festival where the street celebrations make it impossible to go to the normal places.
Ann Laidlaw (ECM Office Administrator) coordinates rotas for 42 teams that are drawn from churches across the Lothians and includes over 750 volunteers.
This service is entirely staffed by volunteers and ECM is enormously grateful for the support and effort that goes into this mission.
Since 2013 a lunchtime service provides sandwiches, snacks and hot drinks both to rough sleepers and to homeless people housed in B&B accommodation by Edinburgh City Council. The van goes out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and serves around 40 to 60 people. The lunchtime Care Van is coordinated by Bethany Christian Trust staff.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’