A visit to the Passage on 10 February 2022 to meet the team and inspirational CEO Mick Clark, with Tricia Topping, trustee of the Chesterton Foundation. The Passage has had the vision, since being formed in the 1980s, to eliminate homelessness. Housed in a former convent the premises have been adapted over time to accommodate rooms for the long term homeless with complex needs, who receive trauma based care and the help of a psychologist (also available to support staff, who deal with very challenging issues but with such a positive team spirit).
Help is also on hand for those suddenly at risk of homelessness and food too in their canteen. Need has been growing, especially during Covid. The Passage was a key partner, during the first lockdown with others, to get the homeless off the street as part of the Everyone In initiative and provided 350 hot meals a day 24/7 to vulnerable people who were in isolation. Their ambition grows to deliver on their vision and the new No Night Out project is a testament to this. The scheme provides immediate, temporary accommodation whilst the Passage works to find suitable long term housing. So far no-one engaging with the project has spent a night out. The community garden, made through the joint efforts of local residents and those at the Passage, is another example of the impact the Passage has, fostering inclusion and community spirit.
Delighted to have the opportunity to present a High Sheriff Special Achievement Award to Mick Clark, on behalf of All at the Passage and also to Mick, for his inspirational driving force and leadership. The charitable sector is facing extraordinary times but the Passage continues to rise to the challenge.