Sacred Heart Friends of The Passage

Passage Logo

The Passage

is an organisation which is inspired by the charism of St. Vincent De Paul. It is based in the London Victoria area and has a mission to to provide resources which encourage, inspire and challenge homeless people to transform their lives.

We have a team of thirteen of our parishioners who regularly work as volunteers at the Passage clocking up a total of around 3000 hours each year between them.

LunchThe tasks they perform are varied and include the following:

Home for Good

This new initiative supports former rough sleepers, who are now off the streets and in accommodation, by linking them into support in their new communities to prevent them ending up back on the streets.

Some of the Sacred Heart Friends of the Passage help to make clients feel welcome in these Home for Good Communities. This involves home visits, helping with practical tasks and budgeting, and also helping to introduce people to activities in the local community.

Home for Good also runs a weekend club. On Saturdays they organise outings to places of interest in London where entry is free, and on Sundays a local church allows us to run a lunch club on its premises.

This work is especially fulfilling as it sees the permanent settlement of former homeless people into supportive communities.

Quote form Jane whose life has been transformed by the Passage:

With the support of the Passage, I am not only off the streets, but have also managed to return to employment. I now work as a bus conductor. I am so grateful for all the help the I received

Parish Clothing Collections

During 2014 we had 3 clothing collections and collected many sacks of clothes for the clients of the Passage, the majority of whom are men. It is important that the clothes we collect are well presented, preferably new or nearly new. The clients purchase these clothing items for a small charge, within their means, to help them maintain their dignity and not feel dependent on "hand-outs"

At present we have suspended the clothing collections until refurbishments at the Passage are completed

David Dimbleby

David Dimbleby Radio4 Appeal

Did you hear David Dimbleby make an appeal for the Passage ion Rario 4 in July?

In his appeal he talked about the way inner homelessness (depression, lack of support and feeling alone) can quickly lead to people ending up on the streets. The Home for Good project is particularly effective in combating this.

The appeal can still be listened to on the BBC website at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04bmd3h

This appeal was very successful, raising in excess of £23,000

Peter was in his mid-20s when he drifted into homelessness. He drank heavily and was smoking hard drugs. In February 2013 he was referred to Passage House. Once there, he got involved in various activities and his life started to change. He has now got his own flat.

You can help by:

Video

The Passage - Archbishop Vincent Nichols interviews Mick Clarke, Chief Executive of The Passage:

http://www.catholicsocialteaching.org.uk/themes/life-work/stories/passage/

Spiritual support through the Chaplaincy

The chaplains visit and support clients in hospital, in prison and, sometimes, in detox centres, as well as those living in the community. They also lead occasional outings to church communities outside the city, pilgrimages to monasteries, churches and religious sites, and visits to art galleries and music events.

When clients die, the chaplains ensure that, where possible, links are made with the clients' families and that funeral services appropriate to their beliefs are arranged.

At present the full time chaplains are

I visit the Passage every Friday as a volunteer chaplain assisting Fr. Padraig and Sr. Rosalind. As chaplains we try with the help of God, to be a prophetic presence at The Passage - a reminder that the organisation takes its inspiration from the gospel of Jesus Christ and the way of St Vincent de Paul.

I have my lunch with the clients and chat to anyone who would like to have a few words with me. The courage of the homeless people is an inspiration for me as I don't think I would last long living on the streets.

There is a lovely atmosphere in the Passage and the people I meet teach me to try to live simply and appreciate what I have - a bed, food on the table, a roof over my head and friends. As one chap said to me: "I am content to have one good meal a day"!

Fr. Noel Travers CM