Greater Manchester charity Stepping Stone Projects says that its mission and vision to end homelessness is now more critical than ever as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Over 300,000 people are still estimated to be homeless in England today, an increase of 14% in just one year.
Since its formation with Rochdale Council in 1984, the charity has helped over 15,000 people across Greater Manchester and East Lancashire develop the skills and confidence they need to access and maintain their own home and a stable lifestyle.
As the charity celebrates its 40th year, it stresses the rising number of those at risk in the region.
Stepping Stone Projects chief executive, Dave Smith, said: “We’ve helped over 4,000 people in the last three years alone, and over the past year have seen a sharp increase in those experiencing homelessness.
“This means that our mission and vision to work together to end homelessness is more vital now than at any point in our 40-year history.
“So, as we celebrate the remarkable work that the charity has been involved with throughout this time, we remain committed to making a positive difference.
“There is no single solution, and we know that homelessness is a complex problem, so as well as offering immediate support, our experienced team is passionate about tackling the wider causes of homelessness.
“We’re enormously proud to have helped transform so many lives over the years and provide hope to people during some of the most difficult times of their lives.”
The Rochdale-based charity will mark its 40th year with a series of initiatives and events throughout the year with a ‘40For40’ theme.
Initiatives include supporting 40 colleagues to volunteer at community projects, planting 40 trees, delivering 40 home starter packs for customers moving into their own new homes and supporting a sponsored 40-mile relay around the local area.
For the past four decades, Stepping Stone Projects has pioneered new models of tackling homelessness, including grouped schemes in Blackburn, Burnley, Hyndburn, Rochdale, Bury, Manchester and Tameside offering 24/7 accommodation, support and security to over 250 people, many of whom are either street homeless, have complex needs or who are leaving some form of institutional care.
The charity’s partnerships with Government and local councils across the North West have seen it become one of the largest independent homelessness charities in the region.
Partnerships with social purpose organisations and registered housing providers such as Calico Homes in Burnley, Onward Housing in Hyndburn, Moss Care St Vincents in Manchester and Rochdale, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing and Ashton Pioneer Homes in Tameside have also allowed the charity to expand its offer and have a greater impact in the local area.
Over the coming year, the charity will be releasing a series of projects to mark the occasion and to highlight its major achievements over the years.
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