Happy New Year! I hope 2021 brings you and yours all you hoped for.
2020 was a tough year for everyone and significantly impacted those who went into the pandemic already vulnerable. At Providence Row, we strive to support everyone who is rough sleeping or affected by homelessness, so we had to transform how we work for the most vulnerable.
We managed three hotels where people who were previously sleeping rough could self-isolate, have access to regular meals, healthcare and tailored support plans. Now, more than 100 of our hotel clients are in safe accommodation, engaging with support services and on their way to long-term recovery; a bright light during some dark days.
We continued to run advice and support services for people sleeping rough and an outreach service for those affected by substance misuse, reaching record numbers of clients. Our ground-breaking psychotherapy service continued providing vital psychological support for many and a gateway to other essential services. Routes to Roots prevented those in danger of becoming homeless on discharge from the hospital from returning to the streets, ensuring their safe accommodation and ongoing support.
As we begin 2021, we are still responding to a crisis even as we look forward to brighter days after the pandemic. Sadly, we are now seeing more people at risk of homelessness and sleeping rough on our streets for the first time. Much of the support put in place during the first lockdown, is no longer funded, and I am very concerned about the impact on those who need our help. This is why the work must go on.
In 2021 we will continue doing everything we can to meet the immediate and long-term needs of our clients. Right now, our food programme is significantly increasing its distribution of healthy meals to people sleeping rough and in temporary accommodation. We are scaling up our psychotherapy service and have re-designed our employability service to provide additional support for those who have no recourse to public funds and must find employment to secure accommodation.
This would not have been possible without the courage, generosity and compassion of my colleagues, and I am extremely grateful for their hard work during a very challenging year.
I am confident that our excellent colleagues, partners, supporters and volunteers will continue to be there for our clients throughout 2021, offering them renewed hope for the future.
With your continued help, the brighter days that we are all seeking can be shared by the most vulnerable who do not have a safe home or a community in which to belong.
Stay safe and well in your homes during these days of lockdown, and I very much look forward to working with many of you in the year ahead.
Providence Row is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 07452798 and registered charity number 1140192. Its registered office is at The Dellow Centre, 82 Wentworth Street, London, E1 7SA.