Our first charity of the month for 2016 is Justlife, jointly nominated by Leon Moye and Louise Bullough.
Justlife is a charity based in Openshaw, Manchester, which helps and supports people with multiple and critical needs justlife.org.uk/projects/justlife-manchester/
It has been set up in the heart of a dense area of temporary accommodation, hostels, B&Bs, houses with multiple occupancy and bed-sits.
Deliberately placed on the doorstep of some of the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach people in the city, its mission is to first of all engage with them, then offer support which will help them to move on in their lives.
It offers a friendly morning drop-in centre and weekly meals to act as encouragement for greater engagement in their workshop programme. This, in turn, helps to build relationships, self confidence, skills and experience – all of which helps those using the facility to better themselves.
Meals are offered on Monday and Friday on a drop-in basis and the centre operates an internet cafe four mornings a week for job search, social networking, e-mail and internet searching. Advice is always available on a range of issues and referrals can be made to health, housing and other services to ensure clients get the best possible support.
Leon said he and Louise had nominated the charity because the work they do is ‘life-changing.’
He said: “The charity is active in other areas of the country than Manchester, but the work they do is life-changing for some of the most vulnerable people in society. When this first came to my attention I was shocked to hear some of the stories of what these people had been through.
“Not only does JustLife support single homeless people to access accommodation within the private sector, but they also do a lot of work with vulnerable adults in emergency accommodation. They are able to provide guidance on many important things, including housing and benefits, substance misuse and employment to prevent them becoming homeless themselves.”
Accepting our donation of £624 for the charity, Helen Bullough, JustLife trustee, said: “At a time when demand for our services is increasing and available resources are diminishing, this money will help us provide valuable support, stability and security for people who may otherwise end up living on the streets.
“Our sincere thanks for the very generous donation to Justlife. Homelessness continues to be a very real issue to an increasing number of people and the work that we do not only supports rough sleepers, but importantly works with those close to the streets in unsupported temporary accommodation.
“The standard of this accommodation can be extremely poor and does little to support people in their battle against multiple issues such as alcoholism, drug misuse, unemployment and poverty.
“In all honesty I’ve been quite staggered to see the quality of some of this accommodation for myself and to hear the harrowing stories of service users at our centres. However, we are continuing to try to improve the standard of accommodation offered and working towards our bigger aim of purchasing a property to provide some temporary accommodation directly.
The money you have donated will certainly help us to continue to provide our activities within the centres, such as meals, workshops, drop in advice etc. Thanks once again for your generosity.”
You can read more about Justlife here.