Allchurches Trust is helping Hope into Action expand its social investment model of churches housing the homeless.
The target is 90 homes in 23 UK towns and cities by 2021.
Hope into Action enables churches to use their own resources to provide homes and support for the most vulnerable people in their communities.
The innovative model uses the financial resources of individual or group investors, who purchase a house close to a partner church, often their own church. Hope into Action signs a five-year lease and manages the house and tenancies on the investors’ behalf.
The charity works closely with the partner church; training and supporting congregation members and volunteers who mentor, befriend, and provide family, love and care for tenants.
The charity’s vision is to change the lives of the most disadvantaged in society – the homeless, refugees, ex-offenders, former sex workers, addicts, those fleeing abuse and those released from modern slavery.
“We don’t want to just offer people shelter from the streets. There are far more factors to homelessness than not having a place to stay,” states Ed Walker, Founder of Hope into Action: “A home is not just a physical space, it provides roots, identity; a sense of belonging and a place of emotional wellbeing.”
Hope into Action was founded in 2010 by Ed Walker; the first house, with four tenants, was formed in partnership with the Bretton Baptist Church in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. The charity began as a vision for congregations to leave their pews and take their faith into the world around them.
Over 12 to 18 months, tenants are able to rebuild their lives and sense of self-worth and develop the motivation, hope and skills to move into an independent home and renewed life of their own.
With a three-year grant, Allchurches Trust is supporting the further development and reach of Hope into Action’s social investment model throughout the country.
The charity was awarded the Guardian Public Service Award for Best Housing Project in the UK in 2017 and the Most Innovative Housing Project in the UK in the Homeless Link Excellence Awards in 2018.
By 2017, Hope into Action had 94 tenants living in 38 homes, partnered with 35 churches, located throughout 11 towns and cities around the UK.
In March 2019, Hope into Action had 177 tenants (an increase of 86% since 2017) living in 66 homes (an increase of 73% since 2017) partnered with 60 churches (an increase of 71% since 2017) located in 19 towns and cities across the UK, with 4 new towns in the pipeline (more than double the 2017 figure by 2020).
The charity is expecting to meet its 2021 targets by mid-2020 and continue to develop its vision that every church will lovingly make a home for the homeless in their community.