The Bridge began its homelessness initiative in 2009 as a group of local Christians who started providing an outreach ‘Soup Run’ service to homeless people in Leicester.
Today our volunteers come from many backgrounds and faiths; we accept those from all faiths and none. Our work is aimed at the homeless and vulnerably housed which includes at critical moments of transition (settling into a new home or sofa surfing who without the right intervention would struggle to secure a roof over their head.
We take the approach of supporting the “whole person”, not just a set of individual needs/conditions. Our goal is to help those who are on the street to move from despair to hope. Since 2009, we have grown to now deliver various specialist services which include:
- A homelessness mentoring service
- A rough sleepers breakfast service six day a week.
- A Thursday evening meal session
- Sunday afternoon meal sessions
- Fortnightly Health Awareness sessions
- Monday benefit and job seekers advice sessions
- Bridge Surgery one to one support sessions
- Homelessness shower facilities
- Clothing change facilities for the homeless
- Outreach support food packs
All the above is achieved with one full time and three-part staff, a dedicated team of 40 volunteers, the support of a local church and key partners (Sai Centre and Zinthiya Trust).
We are solely reliant on the good will of our community and grant making trusts. A core aspect of our work is ensuring that staff and volunteers have the time required to build a trusting relationship that once established enables a path of personal change.
The above work has also informed our new Wellbeing initiative that seeks to provide more dedicated mental health support through our mentoring project (Journey Volunteers) and informal therapeutic sessions (Art, Drama, Poetry, Exercise and much more), as where are guest are, is not who they are.
Visit the website: www.bridgeleicester.org