From street to community – helping vulnerable people get back on their feet

15 APR 2020

Allchurches Trust funding to support the homeless in Bedford, providing hot meals and a place to stay for those who are most in need.

A £2,250 grant from Allchurches Trust will allow the King’s Arms Project to continue their work supporting people experiencing homelessness in Bedford. The funding will go towards feeding the most disadvantaged, with a refurbishment of the charity’s Nightshelter kitchen, which will soon be ready to get cooking! 
The charity has been reaching out to men and women experiencing homelessness for 30 years, helping thousands of people start their journey to a better life. They offer a safe space where residents can stay for up to six weeks while the charity helps them find housing. This project can change lives, helping more people off the streets and into employment – in turn, ending the cycle of homelessness and having a positive effect on the community.
In January and February 2020, the King’s Arms Project was able to provide the following help, support and opportunities for vulnerable people in Bedford, with the support of charities including Allchurches Trust:
• 34 bed spaces for homeless and rough sleeping men and women
• 51 homeless people supported through Pathways to Employment programme
• Three homeless people secured paid employment
• 47 rough sleeping men and women supported through Outreach Support Work 
• Weekly meetings in Bedford town centre provide hot food, support and signposting into partner services (including health and dental care).
The charity’s work is more vital than ever, with people experiencing homelessness at far greater risk from Coronavirus. The King’s Arms project team is working on the front lines to ensure nobody has to sleep rough during the pandemic. Supporting the local council and in partnership with SMART Prebend Centre (providing drop-in services for the homeless), they’re co-ordinating housing for vulnerable people in a Bedford town centre hotel. 
Their dedication to protecting the homeless at this difficult time has meant that the Nightshelter kitchen has been put on hold, but they’re excited to get started as soon as possible.
Jenny Lawrence, Fundraising Officer for King’s Arms Project, said: “We are so excited to see what more God has in His plans for supporting homelessness in Bedfordshire. Thank you so much Allchurches Trust, for partnering with us in serving the poor, disadvantaged and homeless within our community.”
Chloe Ewen, Grants Officer for Allchurches Trust, said: “We’re delighted to support the King’s Arms Project, helping homeless and vulnerable people in Bedford, not only offering them a warm place to sleep but providing them with training opportunities as a stepping stone towards employment and improving their life outcomes. We’re glad that our funding will help to refurbish the Nightshelter kitchen, which provides a hot meal and comfort for those who need it.”
A before and after comparison of how residents were sleeping compared to now
The above photographs show a resident’s journey from homelessness to one of the rooms the project provides.
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