Letter: Homeless Project - Providing a hand up, not a handout

Harrogate Homeless Project.  Volunteer Geoff Webber with client Artur Olszenski busy in the kitchen.  (1510084AM4)

Harrogate Homeless Project. Volunteer Geoff Webber with client Artur Olszenski busy in the kitchen. (1510084AM4)

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I write on behalf of the Harrogate Homeless Project to thank the many people and organisations that have supported the project with both money and groceries over the past year.

As a registered charity we operate a 16 bedroomed hostel, provide accommodation for another nine clients in rented properties and operate a day centre where homeless and vulnerable people can get a hot meal, a shower, wash their clothes and get professional advice on their particular problems.

All this, of course, requires considerable funding and, whilst a few of the beds in the hostel are supported through a government grant, the bulk of our funding comes from voluntary contributions.

In making every effort to help people who find themselves in need of our services, we are not merely a source of free meals or a cheap room.

Our aim is to provide a hand up, not a hand out, and clients have to sign up to a programme aimed at returning them to the mainstream community with the ability to lead a normal and productive life.

Homelessness is always a topical subject at this time of year with freezing conditions on the street compared with the warmth and Christmas cheer enjoyed by the majority of us.

To all our supporters, both businesses and private individuals, may I say a big thank you on behalf of the project’s staff and clients and to wish you all a very Happy Christmas.

Geoff Webber

Chairman, Harrogate

Homeless Project