At The Cathedral Archer Project, we support homeless and vulnerable adults from sleeping bag to fulfilling, stable lives.
Often, when someone says the words “homeless charity”, you think of soup kitchens, and handing out sleeping bags.
But homeless charities and homelessness is much more than this, soup kitchens and sleeping bags are important but are not the solution to the problems faced by homeless people.
So what actually is homelessness?
Being homeless is being without stable accommodation, it is sleeping rough, it is finding temporary, short term accommodation, it is sofa surfing.
Homelessness is isolating, lonely and devastating.
People become homeless for many reasons from leaving care, the army or prison through to relationships breaking down, unemployment and mental or physical illness amongst others.
There is no statistic for how many people are homeless. Every year the UK government releases a report on the number of rough sleepers in England. However, this can only ever be a snapshot and estimate.
The latest figures for 2018 counted 4,677 people sleeping rough in England.
We also cannot know the sum total of people who are homeless because they are not all rough sleepers. Those who are homeless in hostels, B&Bs, short term accommodation, on friends or family sofas cannot be counted. They are known as the hidden homeless.
Tackling homelessness is a key priority for Sheffield with a myriad of contributing factors it remains a dismal reality for too many people.
In Sheffield the 2018 rough sleeper figures counted 26 people sleeping rough, which was a rise from 20 in the 2017 count. But there is no way to know the exact scale of homelessness in Sheffield.
From the work we do, we know that there are between 300 and 500 people in the city with ‘multiple complex needs’.
Sheffield defines ‘multiple complex needs’ as being “adults of working age known to three or more of the following services: homeless/housing, substance misuse, offender/criminal justice and mental health/adult social care; whose behaviour can be characterised as inappropriate engagement with frontline services, risk to self or others and who are chaotic and impulsive.”
Due to the complexity of these issues, the impact is felt across generations and the road to recovery is extremely challenging.
We are only one among a number of services across Sheffield providing crisis related support, activities to provide a more fulfilling and stimulating life and opportunities to strengthen one’s skillset.
Our work supporting vulnerable adults often involves helping people overcome experiences in their past. Childhood and past trauma can have effects throughout adult life, and so we provide a safe and welcoming space where people can gain confidence, build relationships and start to create aspirations that will help them move away from homelessness and create their own stable and fulfilling life.
We offer 1:1 support to help people deal with situations and circumstances that need to be addressed immediately.
This includes food and clothing but more often it is help to contact people or other agencies, or simply a listening ear in a time of crisis.
Find out more about the importance of breakfast as the starting point of our work with vulnerable adults.
Numbers of people we supported in 2018
Number of people we supported
Number of breakfasts we served
Average number of people we saw every day
Number of appointments the nurse held in our medical room
Number of laundry loads
Number of times we turned the shower on
Number of food parcels handed out
A key feature of being homeless is a lack of positive things to do with your time. Using time well builds confidence and self-esteem, it helps to motivate, inspire and improve mental wellbeing.
At CAP there are a number of ways people can use their time differently. From an activities programme offering English and maths classes, cooking skills, a photography group, art activities amongst others, to volunteering opportunities, where people can get involved helping to prepare meals in our kitchen, manage the laundry and sort through donations.
Our experience suggests that being part of a team and taking on responsibility stimulates further desire to change and achieve.
At the Archer Project our aim is to support people to create and manage a fulfilling and enjoyable life. Just Works offers people who we work with and those from other organisations the chance of fulfilment and employment.
If people are going to successfully move forward from a place of support into full-time work, there needs to be an overlap. Just Works provides this opportunity for people wanting to transform their life.
Just Works provides a supportive environment, activities ranging from yoga to days out, budgeting support alongside employment in one of their micro-businesses.
Help Us Help: Where you can find out information about the other agencies working in our city to support homeless people.