Reachout network came out of a vision that was formed in the year of 1996 when Paul went out in the city centre, giving out a hot drink and a sandwich to those who were homeless, and sleeping on the streets. After 2 years of doing this and befriending those who found life really tough Reachout network was born. With a Christian ethos and Jesus at the heartbeat a street ministry developed into a network agency and a drop in was established for the homeless and vulnerable. We soon outgrew the little bungalow we used from Church Alive Ladywood and found a bigger place with a vision for a centre to case work, rehabilitate and change lives.
We now run a centre for change as opposed to a drop in primarily for rough sleepers and those who were homeless who have to register and be referred. We provide showers and food and are open 2 days a week for this purpose. We are also open on a Monday and Wednesday for our guests who use the allotment, art class and are involved in maintaining the centre. We also offer a clothes bank with sleeping bags and other necessities for our rough sleepers and those who are referred. Our heart is to change people’s lives in order for them to be the best they can possibly be by integrating them into society and supporting them to be independent rather than MAINTAINING THEM in their poverty or exclusion.
We also offer one to one counselling and group work based on Christian principles for those that wish to attend and café church which anybody can attend.
We have now 60 to 80 guests per week regularly come into our centre and are part of our community. 15 volunteers that work at our centre and outreach teams on the streets. We also network with a number of homeless outreach teams, the council, homeless services, hostels, the police and other agencies. Reachout network is the major outreach team for the Birmingham churches winter night shelter for which Paul is on the steering group.
All our funding is privately found through our supporters, churches, agencies and fundraising efforts.