franciscan - May 2001
© The Society of Saint Francis, 2001
‘We find people respect us because we respect them.’
For about four years now, brothers have been living in two flats on the Ley Hill Estate, an area of social disadvantage in the South West of Birmingham. They are there to live and work alongside local people, as well as to pray, and are now very much a part of the community. A programme of demolition and redevelopment, now beginning, will take several years to complete, but in the meantime the brothers hope to continue supporting local families and working with other agencies on the estate, such as Barnardos, schools and the police.
Work among the young has been a particular focus, especially during school holidays, when the activities run by the local youth partnerships would seem to have had a measurable and dramatic impact on crime figures. More regular activities also run in one of the two flats occupied by SSF, now adapted as a youth club venue.
Saint Clare’s House has also been a base for novices working on a variety of placements, both on the estate and in the wider city.
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