We are raising money to allow us to provide support to homeless and vulnerable people.
by Joseph Logan in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
The Archer Project has a proven history of transforming the lives of the vulnerable and homeless from Sheffield and the wider region. We are integral to the community of ostracised people needing help and understanding. We offer a range of services that support the people who need our help on a journey from sleeping bag to home, which is achievable and sustainable.
We give vulnerable people the tools to rebuild their lives. The aid and support follow individuals in their journey to regain the confidence and ability to volunteer or enter employment. We constantly adapt and learn to deliver the best possible support to those who come to us for help.
Throughout the past year, The Archer Project supported 909 individuals in their journey out of homelessness.
We are a safety net charity. Intercepting individuals on downward spirals and constructing trusting relationships is at the core of our service. When people come to us for help, it is for emergency care. We meet basic human needs while instilling that our Project is a safe space. Alongside dentist, nurse and GP visits, we provide two hot or cold meals a day and, if necessary, food parcels. We also provide access to telephones, internet, showers, laundry and sleeping bags or clothes.
Once individuals have satisfied emergency needs and have stable housing, we look to repair the mental damage caused by the trauma experienced. Our support workers conduct one-to-one and group mentoring sessions to encourage coping mechanisms for any anxieties and triggering situations. Street life is inherently chaotic due to the uncertainty of satisfying emergency needs; therefore, instilling positive routines is an important step away from homelessness.
We offer opportunities to volunteer as a form of supported recovery. Volunteering within our Project allows individuals to continue to build positive routines alongside growing in confidence and self-belief. A great example of the opportunities offered is in our kitchen. Our kitchen is run by one paid employee and a team of volunteers from both within the Project and outside. Through working in the kitchen, receiving and taking ownership of varying responsibilities, our beneficiaries have described the experience as 'having a reason to get up in the morning.' The resilience gained from the counselling and mentoring, paired with boosted self-esteem, means that when slipups do happen, as they sometimes do, it will not result in a spiral back into homelessness.
When individuals are ready, we encourage and offer paid employment opportunities within our Archer Project Enterprises. Supported employment allows individuals to have a smooth transition back into work. By having lived experience in positions throughout our enterprises, we can ensure that we achieve the most effective working environments.
Supporting us while we are receiving matched funding from The Aviva Cost of Living Boost will allow us to weather the storm of the cost-of-living crisis, which is sending a consistent increase of people needing help to our door.
The best description of our work came from a beneficiary of our Project when reflecting on their time sleeping rough.
'I always thought, tomorrows another day. That light in that darkness was fundamentally, one hundred percent, only present as a result of The Archer Project. Knowing that I would be able to not have to spend money on food, clothes, washing… it's a rock. In between all the torture and the tornados that you go through being homeless, it's an anchor.'