Tel: 0151 649 0111
January 2008Dear Supporters,
In my last letter I said that we are evolving into more than meeting the physical needs of hostel residents and Arkangel (our move-on houses) tenants. We are developing ways to work with those in our care so that they permanently move away from homelessness.
This includes formal training, and less formal activities which begin to engage people in structured, useful use of their time - e.g. art, music. These development plans call for space to do these activities, and so far we've used the hostel lounge and dining room when available.
The good news is that our plans to build an extension have progressed in that we have submitted a bid for a substantial grant from the Government's Places of Change Programme. We will hear in March whether we have been successful.
Winter is the worst time, of course, for people sleeping rough on the streets. Lonely, isolated and afraid, their lives are raw and abrasive, and the bitterly cold weather leads to lasting health problems. 2007 statistics for the hostel (see separate web page) show that 270 people came into the hostel, and half of those slept rough immediately before. The stats page gives other hard facts about our clients, like our occupancy rate for the year was an average of 24.5 beds occupied - in a 25 bed hostel that means for half the year we were absolutely full, and the other half year we had one bed available.
People are always very kind as we approach Christmas (not that they aren't kind at other times!!), and, in December, we received donations of over £8,000 from supporting Wirral churches. In addition our bag packing and carol singing at Sainsburys Upton, raised a massive £2,500. Thank you to all those who took part, including Ark residents and Arkangel tenants who were involved.
We are hoping to have our AGM in March again, now that our financial year has just ended. Watch this space.
As we look forward to 2008, and the hope and challenges that it brings, we thank God for bringing us to where we are, and seek the support of all as we attempt to do more.