For over thirty years we have supported thousands of people who were homeless in Sheffield. Over that time the service has changed to add new ways of working so that instead of aiming to get people into accommodation, we aim to help people to build fulfilling lives.
It started back in the 1980’s when Sheffield was in a decade of decline. Its industry reduced at an alarming rate meaning levels of unemployment, poverty and poor health had increased dramatically.
By 1989, Sheffield Cathedral had become a regular place of shelter for people who had nowhere else to go and nothing to do. The congregation responded by providing them with a basic breakfast. The Archer Project quickly established itself as a city centre venue where homeless people felt welcome and supported. What started as tea and toast served by members of the Cathedral congregation, has developed and expanded into a holistic service designed to help homeless people to improve their lives.
In 2007 we moved into our own purpose-built premises within the Cathedral containing showers and laundry services, interview rooms for 1-1 work, a lounge area with computers, a professional kitchen, a fully equipped medical room and an education/activity room. It has allowed us to work with many other agencies and provided a service of greater breadth and depth than we were previously capable of. Today we continue to think carefully about the best ways to help homeless people to lead fulfilling, stable and enjoyable lives.
Our basic services include 1-1 support and signposting, provision of in-house nurse and dental clinics, and access to hot food and showers. We run a programme of activities to help people learn skills and enjoy new experiences and gain accreditation. We offer a structured volunteer programme to help people to grow their confidence and increase their employability.