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Innovative project launched to support people experiencing homelessness in Bradford

[Photo Credit: The Telegraph and Argus]

An innovative project which aims to work with the community to support people experiencing homelessness with low to medium needs in Bradford has opened today, 23rd March 2015. 

Our project is housed in a newly renovated building adjacent to one of our church's and will provide accommodation for up to 42 people experiencing homelessness. In a first for the church and charity, highly experienced specialist staff will work alongside volunteers from the corps congregation and local community to play a part in the running of the centre.

The project was developed after the local community and local Salvation Army officers presented a passionate business case to the bosses which highlighted a need for more accommodation for the city’s rough sleepers. Initially the residents will be men only and if a need is identified in the coming months, the service could be extended to women. 

Major Richard Cushing, Regional Manager for our Homelessness Services , said: “We listened to the community when we heard that there was a need for a new service aimed at providing accommodation for people experiencing homelessness. This led to our development of The Orchard which we believe is an exciting new chapter for our work in Bradford.

“Our approach here is innovative as it involves engaging with the community in a new way to work together to make a difference. There will be a strong emphasis on raising self-esteem, confidence and self-belief.  This will be achieved through working with volunteers from the local community and peers to create activities which will aid skill development and help residents to reach their goals, whatever they may be. We believe in making a real difference to lives here and we are excited about the potential which now exists at The Orchard."

The Orchard is funded by The Salvation Army and will be run on a referral basis from the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council to support people who are experiencing homelessness and have a low to medium need.  In line with our work with the community, today a small number of residents have moved in, and more will follow, gradually, in the coming weeks and months. 

Later in the year The Salvation Army will formally open the service after a review process is completed.

This year we are celebrating 150 years of transforming lives and still at the heart of every community today, supporting those in need.