Work during lockdown
We helped over 300 people off the street and into temporary accommodation at the beginning of lockdown and supported them throughout the lockdown period with daily food deliveries and personal support. We have moved 60 people into long term accommodation and are supporting those still in temporary accommodation until they move to their new homes.
Reopening the Resource Centre
We have reopened the Resource Centre and are operating a new model in line with government safety guidelines. We have three daily sessions, accommodating 35 people each and separated by thorough cleaning. People book in for advice, and we provide food, laundry, clothing and showers as part of their visit. We are supporting people who do not need to come in for advice by telephone and personal visits. These staggered daily numbers affect how we can use donated goods.
Harvest Festival & other donations in kind
In the past tinned and dried food donated at Harvest Festival have been very useful for us for making up food parcels to provide to those resettled but struggling for food. We are now supporting people who need help with food but do not need to visit us, by distributing supermarket vouchers instead.
Due to the current operating restrictions, we need to be very focused about clothing donations too. In the past we have taken in a mixture of clothing sizes and types and have had ways of making good use of any surplus items. The COVID situation has made this much more difficult. We are still providing clothing as vouchers for resettled clients.
Donating to provide food or clothes
We are very grateful for financial help to assist us specifically in providing food and clothes. If a parishioner who is a taxpayer donates £4 under Gift Aid this can fund a £5 voucher and can be handled much more easily than if £4 of goods were purchased for us.
Please contact Andrew Hollingsworth (details below) in advance about Harvest Festivals or any initiative to support our clients with goods before encouraging a physical collection.
Night Under The Stars
We are excited to be marking the 20th anniversary of our annual Night Under The Stars concert. This year the concert will be virtual on 3 December. Hosted by comedian Rory Bremner, with music from the London Philharmonic Choir, Steven Hough and Hugh Montague Rendall, with more artists to be announced. The evening commemorates 40 years of The Passage’s work transforming homeless people’s lives. We will be in touch with more details shortly.
Presenting the work of The Passage in Parishes
We have for many years been pleased to visit parishes and present our work at the end of each weekend Mass. During the summer I had the pleasure of joining a parish for Mass streamed online via zoom. I was given the opportunity to speak at the end of Mass and take questions, which was extremely useful.
We do very much need your prayer and practical help at this time. I am very happy to appeal in person or online either to a parish or a particular parish group.
40th anniversary of The Passage
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Passage first opening its doors to homeless people in October 1980. Cardinal Vincent will offer Mass in Westminster Cathedral to mark our anniversary at 5.30 on Thursday 21 January. We hope to be able to invite people to attend in person but if that is not practical it will be streamed online.
The Passage is facing the biggest challenge in our 40 year history. Many clients now need support to remain off the street. The Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis means that many more people are now at risk of unemployment or losing their home. Our services are vital for the rough sleeping community in London and those who find themselves homeless for the first time this winter.