Pre pandemic we offered drop-in facilities for a hot meal, shower and change of clothes, one to one support for referral to statutory and voluntary agencies including tackling addiction, mental health issues, access to housing and benefits. We ran one-to-one support sessions, team building events and group activities such as days out, bowling, football, table tennis, music lessons and concerts.
During the pandemic we operated as a large food bank in collaboration with Stockton Borough Council, Catalyst and the Rough Sleepers Initiative. Our premises were used as the distribution centre across the whole Stockton area ensuring we reached our usual clients and their families, offering food, support and hope in the community as normal, albeit from a distance.
We now aim to return to normal activities in line with government guidance.
The Moses Project was set up by Brian and Stella Jones, long serving community advocates who live in the heart of the Stockton communities they support. Stella has a wealth of substance misuse nursing experience gained since 1975 as a nurse on NHS acute medical wards, recognising the most vulnerable were struggling to access basic services many take for granted.
Together they began volunteering and working with community based organisations delivering night support on The Coffee Bus, on the streets to the homeless and vulnerable. This service closed after 18 months. However, Brian and Stella continued going out at night offering support, and knew from working in one of the most deprived regions in the UK, there was a gap to fill between the vulnerable homeless and local agencies, as no other organisation like The Moses Project existed to act as a vital conduit.
Many of the men they were trying to help came from institutionalised backgrounds and were incredibly wary of authority. Despite the best efforts of the local authority and agencies, that distrust was exceptionally challenging to tackle. With Brian and Stella acting as trusted advocates for both sides, the men came to trust them, and gradually, increasing numbers came forward seeking help from The Moses Project.
By offering support with life’s everyday problems in a caring environment where everyone is welcomed we provide clients with the one thing that is our ultimate aim to achieve; the opportunity to recover, rebuild their lives and become re-engaged in society.
With your support we can reach the most vulnerable on the streets, especially the homeless men who have disengaged from our services during lockdown. Now more than ever, it is vital we link with them to offer advice, support, emergency accommodation, food and clothing and help them take a step forward and away from sleeping on the streets.
Together with Brian and Stella, our amazing team of volunteers can be funded to increase the area they cover and the hours they provide in central Stockton, offering key outreach services in the community ensuring no-one living rough is forgotten and all have access to a safe place to sleep, food and healthcare.