Metquarter announces official charity partnership with The Hope Foundation
3 months ago
Reducing housing poverty isn’t just about putting a roof over someone’s head.
It’s about finding them a place to call home and providing them with the help they need to thrive and make life better, for themselves and their families.
And that’s just what The Hope Foundation is doing.
Set up in 2020, it’s a young charity that’s already achieved a lot and now, supported by the Metquarter, it is aiming to do more.
“We would like to get to the point where housing isn’t an issue anymore,” admits director Stephen Robertson. “We would eventually like to be out of business and not exist.
“But while we see a need, we’re going to try and make a difference.”
The Hope Foundation has five projects, four of which include:
- Refugee resettlement, providing accommodation for people granted asylum in the UK
- The Christmas Meal Project reaching out to the lonely or isolated over the festive period
- Acts 435 which offers financial support to people needing practical help, and
- Covid-19 Community Support, helping those struggling with the effects of the virus
But it’s the fifth, Hope Housing, that’s the main operational project, its goal to provide accommodation and assistanceto anyone with housing need.
Stephen, who’s worked in the charitable sector 10 years, mainly within housing, explains:
“When I’ve worked with other organisations, our focus was to make a difference with homelessness, so we were housing people and providing supported accommodation, but often it was shared.
“You’d have a lot of people coming in, and they were making steps forward but, for example, where you have four people in a house and three people could be sober from either drink or drugs, one could have come out of prison or just come off the streets and currently struggling with alcohol. One person can have a ripple effect throughout the whole house.
“Sometimes people would have been there for years and have a job and be ready to move on which is fantastic but the property situation in Liverpool is terrible, so they’d be unable to. When they did finally get a property it would have no carpets, no wallpaper, no cooker, no furniture and it was 10 times worse than where they were.
“Our vision was that we could do better.”
The Hope Foundation manages properties and provides quality accommodation to families or individuals, one they can call home and feel a sense of pride in: “One that won’t add to depression, but will give them a sense of belonging and self-worth,” adds Stephen.
The Hope Foundations takes out leases with private landlords and housing providers, and decorates, furnishes and insures properties and puts in its own tenants, referred to them by different agencies. It’s currently looking after four flats and five houses with 38 tenants, and refurbishing other properties. Landlords are now approaching them: “Most are just happy to collect their rent but to know they’re making a difference is also an incentive.”
Grants and donations help but most of its income comes from renting out the properties, and that goes towards running costs. With eyes on support not profit, it can support a family or an individual indefinitely, whatever their needs, for an average of £1,800 a year.
And it doesn’t just help with housing, but education and training, mentoring and counselling, and a network of help and activity; “We want to make sure people never need to be alone.”
Over the years, Metquarter has teamed up with the foundation for its Christmas Meal, with the centre running a drop off point for donations for the meal and driving awareness of the campaign locally. Each year, Metquarter provides toys and gifts to ensure that each child that comes to the event has a present to open on Christmas Day.
Kickstarting the partnership for 2023, Metquarter aided The Hope Foundation’s Easter Gifting campaign and the centre was used as a drop off location for Easter Egg donations to give back to those experiencing loneliness and isolation during a time when families and friends usually come together to celebrate. Metquarter staff will also be donating their time as they volunteer with the charity throughout the year and Metquarter tenant Antonio Monica has also donated his old furniture from his coffee shop on the ground floor of the centre to the charity.
Stephen adds: “We have grown a lot over the years with limited resources. Now we have premises, and we are looking forward to expanding.
“To have the Metquarter, a well-established and trusted group, choose us as their charity is phenomenal and we are really proud.
“We have good links with the team who are keen to get involved and help spread the word about what we’re doing. Their heart is for Liverpool. Our heart is for Liverpool.”