What we do
Betel UK is an independent Christian charity for men, women and families affected by the hardships that lead to social exclusion, especially homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse and long-term unemployment
What It’s Like
Betel has welcomed over 12,000 people into our community since opening its doors in 1996. Many of our residents say life at Betel feels like becoming a new member of an extended family. Betel is a safe, structured, family-like environment where there is consistent peer-support: during the first few months each resident is assigned a brother- or sister-like mentor. As such, it provides an alternative model of recovery which has made a radical difference to many formerly chaotic lives. Betel is not a clinical programme with on-site doctors or counsellors, but rather, we liaise with a medical specialist to offer a medically assisted detox to those who require one, followed by a peer-led supportive structure. Should you have any questions, or would like further information about what we do please feel free to call or email us.
The daily schedule runs from 7am to 11pm and begins every morning with a half-hour group “devotional”, a brief time of Christian worship followed by an encouraging talk from an experienced Betel resident. After spending the first two weeks in the community house getting used to the surroundings, residents then participate in an assigned work team from 9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Saturday. These teams include flyer distribution, furniture collection and delivery, charity shop sales, furniture restoration, landscape gardening, and household duties such as preparing meals and cleaning. Then, after eating dinner together, typical evening activities include reading time, worship services and Bible discussion groups, recreation (including snooker, table tennis, volleyball, and films on weekends), plus music and creative arts lessons. Over the weekend residents can receive their monthly family visit and weekly telephone calls. Following a morning worship service, Sunday afternoons and evenings are generally spent in recreation such as watching films, reading, writing, playing football, or just relaxing and socialising. During their stay, residents will be given increasing responsibility at home and work as they show willingness, dependability and a supportive attitude towards others. Over time Betel residents learn to care for others, oversee household routines, lead work teams, and run businesses.
Our end goal is to help people not only escape addiction, but become productive, trustworthy men and women of character when they leave our community.
We recommend that residents plan to stay a minimum of 12 to 18 months. While this sounds like a long time, it is based on our experience of how long it takes to effectively deal with the issues which cause addiction. In this way, many go on to build their own businesses, start families and live stable, healthy lives. Others also choose to stay and work with Betel as mentors and leaders helping people to escape addictions just as they have. This is the reason why about 90% of Betel’s communities around the world are now run by former residents. We believe that life is never hopeless. To find out how to get help, please visit Coming to Betel..