Neighbourhood Welfare: Homeless Cafe and Hub

After announcing Susan Gill as a deserving winner of Steel River’s Community Spirit Award, I couldn’t help but feel like I could do more to help the amazing work she does. Susan set up Neighbourhood Welfare Middlesbrough, a cafe designed to provide support for the homeless in Middlesbrough. It offers food, showers, clean clothes etc…basics that we all take for granted every day! I can’t imagine the standard of living of these people, and they are just not being supported enough by the system. This is why people like Susan are incredible. She not only set up a charity cafe to help fill this need, but she continues to campaign for better services and support for the homeless in Middlesbrough. She spends a lot of time and effort, working hard to try and get the needs of these people noticed and addressed. With all the good work she does, a bottle of gin is certainly a good way to unwind, but it’s not going to help the organisation in their efforts to provide vital services and support to the homeless community in Middlesbrough. So I popped round with a £250 cheque, and I was honestly so impressed by them.

Jay holding £250 cheque with head of Neighbourhood Welfare Middlesbrough Homeless cafe and Hub

Neighbourhood Welfare Middlesbrough

A cafe and hub designed to provide food, warm beverages, clothes, access to a shower and so much more. They run off a referral basis, and look after the homeless in the area without judgment. They provide a safe space in which to build relationships of trust that can benefit the recipient for life. Susan, and her amazing team of volunteers, work with the police and local shelters and housing to provide the services needed by those that have fallen through the cracks. 

It’s so much more than a cafe, they really do provide everything they can, to support those in need. From showers and clean clothes, food and hot drinks, to working long hours trying to organise housing for clients. And then I saw the pictures on the wall. The photos put up in memory of those lost over the years. Susan told me about having to organise some of their funerals, those without friends family that would go without a funeral if she wasn’t there to arrange it all. I could see the passion and the love on her face as she told me that she believes a respectful send off is something everyone deserves, and I couldn’t agree more.

Susan and the volunteers are doing an amazing job, and me and Becks received such a warm welcome there from all of them. I wish there were systems in place that meant places like this didn’t have to exist, but until that day comes (you best believe Susan is working hard to push the council for better services to make that happen) I am so happy that I can support the amazing work they do.

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Jay holding £250 cheque with head of Neighbourhood Welfare Middlesbrough Homeless cafe and Hub

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