Catholic Worker Farm Funding Proposal 2013Project AimThe Catholic Worker Farm is an ongoing project to (protect and) accommodate homeless women and their children in the UK. Since 2006 we have helped over 300 women at the Farm, providing everything from housing and food, to school supplies. But most importantly, the women who come to us have a safe place to stay with their children.Our aim is simply to continue this vital work, providing a lifeline to the most vulnerable, marginalised people living on the streets today. Many of the women we help have battled through horrific circumstances to reach the peace and safety that the Farm provides, so it’s crucial that we keep our doors open.
A New Homelessness In the UK more women are made homeless by circumstance every single day. We have accommodated asylum seekers, trafficked women, those exiting prostitution, escaping Female Genital Mutilation, domestic violence. Sadly what they all have in common is that they are not allowed to work and have been denied state benefits, and so are unable to access basic services because of their immigration status. The majority of these women have endured horrific personal trauma including torture, rape or the loss of loved ones. And what makes their situation even more critical, is that some are pregnant or with young children.Having escaped war, human trafficking or domestic violence, these women are often scared and immensely vulnerable, but as yet, there is a distinct lack of provisions to keep them safe, together with their children.That’s why The Catholic Worker Farm is so important. The British Red Cross have confirmed that for these women, The Catholic Worker Farm is the only place in the South East where they can refer mothers and their babies together. Every woman who comes to the Farm is given personal support that not only meets their physical needs in relation to shelter, food and clothing, but their emotional or circumstantial needs as well. This ensures that every homeless woman who comes to us feels understood and supported as an individual. Since 2006 we have helped over 300 women in this way
The Catholic Worker Farm Provides:A safe, warm bedAccess to showers, clothes, washing and cooking facilitiesHelp with acquiring solicitors and medical careEnglish lessons, Citizenship classes and counsellingSupport with finding voluntary workSchool supplies and school lunches for younger childrenNappies, baby formulae, baby clothes and toysA supportive, loving environment within which the guests can recover and work towards self-sufficiency.Unfortunately, there are only a handful of organisations in the UK that undertake this kind of support, so it’s ever more vital that we keep our doors open. We don’t receive any government funding for the work we do, nor do we take salaries or stipends. Quite simply, without the generosity of supporters like yourself, the support we offer to women and children would not be possible.
Their Need is Our NeedRight now however, we are at crisis point. One of our major benefactors has been unable to continue their financial support, leaving us without money to renew the lease on the Farm, an amount of £12,000. With the winter setting in, we are also in urgent need of heating oil at a cost of £1,700, as well as new kitchen cupboards and damp proofing at a cost of £2,500. The total is £16,200. What we are hoping to receive from you, our friends though is at least £8,000.
We believe that reaching out to the most vulnerable, marginalised women and children is important, but it’s also incredibly rewarding; when we see a woman and her child receive asylum after months or even years of hardship, safely established in their own home with their child, we know that our work at The Catholic Worker Farm was essential to that recovery process. We also know that not everyone is able to open their doors to the homeless, but if you believe in the dignity of every person then perhaps you feel you could support those who can.
A few of our Guests (above and below)