Tony Francis is involved in a Colchester Borough Homes scheme called Community of Projects - an attempt to help the town's homeless.

The recent attention homelessness has received has resonated in the hearts of Colchester people and been clearly reflected and represented in the media and social media and by individuals and our authorities.

Coins, quids, clothing, food parcels, prayers, quiz nights, musicians singing, all being donated.

A night shelter, a chariot bus of beds, Beacon House, Emmaus, soup kitchens, Open Road and Open Door, Corban, YMCA, to name a few of the unequalled charities and the established outreaches, who I know from my own first-hand experiences operate with incredible compassion and personal dedication.

I am privileged to be in a member of Colchester Borough Homes sponsored Community of Projects workshops at Firstsite.

Here, many of the statutory and voluntary parties with a compassion for the homeless gather to pool their joint passions, skills, creativity and resources for the homeless and destitute.

There is no holding back from placing all the resources on the table.

The central focus being to relieve the pain in our shop doorways of the street homeless

The broader picture of poverty was also brought to the forum by a frank report from Colchester Borough Homes.

We have heard of the true magnitude of deprivation of homes and the wondering homeless who "sofa surf", bedding down where they can.

The cry from all us is one of action to eradicate this from our local society by unifying resources.

This form of homelessness is far more monumental than the humanitarian destitution in the heart of our town of the street dwellers.

That daily drama is presented in public view by the begging and depravity as shoppers shop and pedestrians promenade, while traders trade.

That picture carries an aroma of bodily waste which we deplore and which tears into our soles as we step over and around it endeavouring to find a suitable place to forfeit a philanthropic ease to our consciences, an appeasement of our God given charitable norm.

That kindness which is in all of us.

An existence "sofa surfing" is so destructive, it eats into the very fabric of identity, boring a hole into self-worth.

At our Community of Projects meeting, never before in any other town where she had run the same program has our visiting facilitator experienced such passion to bring change, systemic change.

An entire re-invention of the "band aids".

Indeed, it's time for full on surgery, never mind the necessary investment, we have agreed we will collectively give what is needed.

The authorities are embracing this bright new way forward, a community unifying itself in a common cause for the common good.

I would never deny the world's social, political, religious and spiritual leader, Jesus Christ, when He said "the poor will always be with you". But, maybe, just maybe, and from what I'm seeing, the hearts of Colchester, beating together, will eradicate homelessness.

It can be done.

I personally believe that one powerful force will be through the arts as we have such a huge wealth of that resource in our midst.

It's about giving people a home and a reason for the day.