Charity bosses say a new social enterprise for the homeless will generate £200,000 annually for South Tyneside’s economy and create new jobs.
When up and running, the charity Emmaus hopes to provide 15 spaces for adults in its house in Stanhope Road, South Shields.
Residents will then work nearby at a shop, also owned by the charity.
It’s thought that premises near South Shields Town Hall would be ideal.
In turn, this could create about six full-time jobs for people – while giving the residents, called companions, employment and the chance to earn a wage.
Sue Wilson, the charity’s chairwoman, said: “We say people need three things to be able to get by.
“These are a home, work and companionship – with the charity catering for all three.
“It’s all very well giving someone a home, but they have to have a reason to get up for each day.
“When we have everything up and running we will be generating £200,000 annually in South Tyneside and creating five or six new jobs.
“We will also be offering low-cost goods, made by our companions, back to local people, perhaps families who may be struggling.”
Ms Wilson is hoping residents will welcome the revamp work on the building – with repairs to the roof due to start next week.
She said: “We only completed the sale at the end of last year, so it’s all happened very fast for us.
“The building is beautiful, but needs an awful lot of work doing to it to make it attractive once again.
“We’re going to start work on the roof next week and replace all the lead that’s missing – but we won’t be using lead.”