We are delighted to announce that we are well on our way to achieving our dream of establishing a hub for the homeless and vulnerably housed in Poole.
The charity has purchased the former Hill Street Baptist Church, the Poole town centre building that housed R2R’s first drop-in sessions.
A key action over the last few years has been for R2R to get on a sound financial footing so we could explore every opportunity to find our own space in order to expand our services. We have been able to fund the purchase of the church from our own funds, a donation from Talbot Village Trust and a grant from Help the Homeless.
Substantial refurbishment is needed to make the premises fit for purpose, before we can move in, hopefully by September 2020. R2R is seeking financial support for essential renovations, which will include more efficient heating, a kitchen, toilets, showers and laundry facilities.
After moving to Hill Street, in the short-term R2R will maintain our existing services and add a weekly Sunday lunch. Looking further ahead, as funding and volunteer support permit, we aim to be open seven days a week and increase the outreach services offered to include financial advice, training and other opportunities to help clients move back into the community – to become a one-stop place of change.
Revd Pat Southgate, Chair and Founder of R2R says: “I am really proud of what all our volunteers and supporters have enabled us to achieve over the years. This is the result of all their faith in us and is a long-held dream come true. We are very grateful to Skinner Street URC for welcoming us for so many years and making us a part of their community. While very excited, this is a tremendous commitment for the charity and we will need all the support that Poole churches, organisations, businesses and individuals can continue to give us to make Hill Street Baptist Church a real Place of Change in Poole.”
Russell Lucas-Rowe, Trustee at Talbot Village Trust, says: “We are very pleased to have helped Routes to Roots expand their reach and services. The work they have been doing helping the rough sleepers for the last 20 years is very valuable to this community. We hope that, thanks to the funding, they will be able to help many more around Poole.”
The Patron of the charity, the Rt Revd Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne comments: “This is a wonderful opportunity for Routes to Roots to take their work to another level and affirms the commitment of the charity in its aims to alleviate homelessness. Further financial help is needed now to fulfil our vision. Please consider giving generously, knowing that every gift will give hope to those most in need of it.”