St George’s Crypt offers support, care and compassion to those suffering from homelessness in the Leeds area.
A loan from Charity Bank assisted the charity to purchase a property to use as supported accommodation for people on their addiction recovery programme. Operations Director Matthew Nice talks about the work of St George’s Crypt and what a difference this dedicated accommodation has made to those affected by addiction.
“St George’s Crypt has a long history. It was started in 1930 by the vicar at the time in response to the extent of homelessness in the area. He converted the crypt into a classic bed and soup refuge, which continued to welcome people in this way, offering a night’s shelter and food, for many years.
“In 2010 we began to undergo some significant changes and development. We became a 24/7 shelter with 15 independent bedrooms available to offer emergency accommodation and support. We developed a training and engagement programme alongside this to improve people’s health, wellbeing and life and employment skills. Our objective is to initiate real change and stop the revolving door of homelessness.
“There are many possible contributing factors to homelessness and addiction is one we see time and time again, especially amongst men. In response to this, we developed an addiction recovery programme, Growing Rooms, to provide people with the support and tools they need to break addiction and re-enter society. While the structured 5-day programme was very successful, we recognised that being able to also offer the men safe, stable accommodation would greatly increase their chances of recovery.
“We started with one four-bed property, which provides a clean, supportive environment for the men to return to each day. It proved a powerful and successful set-up and we decided to develop a second dedicated recovery home, for which we required the support of loan funding.
“We looked at several lenders but chose Charity Bank because of its understanding of the charity world and the needs of charities like ours. Whereas mainstream banks are often quite conservative and can have unreasonable demands, Charity Bank takes a view of the charity as a whole.
“People who choose to save with an ethical lender for greater social good rather than simply financial return are leaving a positive legacy for future generations. Not only this, but they’re making a real difference to people right now. The men who live in the property we purchased with help from a Charity Bank loan are being given a chance to turn their lives around. This is all thanks to the people who save and invest with Charity Bank.”