South Shields homeless charity launches community cafe

Hospitality and Hope new Chai Coffee House and supported living accommodation.
Chair, Pauline Tinnelly with trustee's and support staff
Hospitality and Hope new Chai Coffee House and supported living accommodation. Chair, Pauline Tinnelly with trustee's and support staff

A charity which is helping homeless people back on their feet have shown off their latest venture.

Hospitality and Hope have revamped a property in Laygate, South Shields, to create bedsits for five men looking to rebuild their lives.

Hospitality and Hope new Chai Coffee House and supported living accommodation.
Cafe manager Danielle Soulsby

Hospitality and Hope new Chai Coffee House and supported living accommodation. Cafe manager Danielle Soulsby

The accommodation is based on the upper two floors of the building - while the ground floor houses a community cafe which will be open to the public from next week.

Chai Coffee House, which will run as a Social Enterprise, aims to provide a place where people can gain work experience as well as generate funds to help continue the work of the charity.

The move is the latest venture to be undertaken by the charity in South Tyneside and will be run by cafe manager Danielle Soulsby.

There are currently four people living within the supported accommodation complex.

It is perhaps hard to imagine the depth of despair and the degree of hoplessness felt by people in this situation.

Charity spokesman

A spokesman for the charity said: “The community cafe will support the charity and over time will provide work experience for our residents. Individual care plans will be developed to ensure each person establishes goals in key areas and works towards achieving them.

“They will be closely monitored and supported. Our hope is after a spell volunteering in our Food bank and Soup Kitchen, residents will be offered paid work in the cafe before moving on into their own accommodation.

“Crucially, the cafe will also offer employment to other unemployed people in the area. We believe the cafe will play an essential part of the jigsaw in getting our clients eventually back into work and society.”

Hospitality and Hope was started in 2002 by a group of parishioners who would serve soup from out the back of a van after being concerned by the increasing number of homeless people living within the borough.

The group eventually found various church halls in which they could serve up meals and in 2011 they opened up their first food bank in a community hall.

It was followed by a clothing bank and later providing laundry and shower facilities.

The charity, based in Hampden Street, South Shields, helps over 2,000 people a year with those accessing its services ranging from 18 to 95 years old.

It relies on the kindness of its army of volunteers and donations from the public.

For details about the charity and how you can help visit www.hospitalityandhope.co.uk