Homelessness charity takes on church building to meet growing demand

  • Watch Juliette Fletcher's report

More and more people have been facing financial hardship during the pandemic and as a result, charities for the homeless in the region have seen a huge increase in demand.

The Porch in Oxford provides food, showers and a wide range of support for people who need it.

The Porch is planning to move to the church hall, to give them more space. Credit: ITV Meridian

They have recently taken on an old church building and are hoping to raise enough money to refurbish it, creating more space for a day centre and to expand the services they offer.

The Porch were providing 60 meals a day before the pandemic.

Over the last 12 months that number has increased to 200 a day and they are currently being prepared in a domestic sized kitchen.

But, the plans for the refurbishment of the new site are well underway. The charity bought the building in January last year and hope to create a wheelchair-accessible local hub with a larger dining room, activity  rooms and valuable support services for users.

John Fitzpatrick is the Director of The Porch, he says for some, the new site will be a lifeline.

The Porch provide around 200 meals a day. Credit: ITV Meridian

The whole project, called "All Under One Roof", will cost around £380,000 and so they are doing in it stages. They have half the money already but  are fundraising  to get the new facility up and running as soon as possible.

The Porch has been providing support for the vulnerable and homeless in Oxford for over 30 years.

They have adapted during the pandemic, offering a meal delivery service and they hope their new facilities will help them meet the post-Covid challenges that lie ahead.

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