Welcome to our Lifeline Harrogate website
Lifeline was birthed out of my wife Georgie and my own (Carl) desire to help homeless people. This started for us in the winter of 2011/12 when meeting Martin, an alcoholic, who was sat in the tunnel in Bower Road. We talked to him and he told us he was homeless and that he needed £14 to get into the hostel. He was really dishevelled, was drinking, seemed extremely low and looked very cold. It really moved us both to think that we were going to a nice warm house and here was a man sat out in the cold. As it has turned out Martin’s case is anything but that simple, but it made us think much more deeply about the issue of homelessness.
I then met ‘Pastor Pete’ of Green Pastures in November of 2011 and realised that by partnering with them (they are a national Christian housing social enterprise) we could actually buy a house for the poor and marginalised to live in.
We spoke to Harrogate Homeless Project who liked the fact that their clients would have a route out of the hostel and be able to live independently, but with support.
In July of 2012 we had a 'Launch the Vision' meeting and were blessed by having 30 people from 9 different Churches. From that meeting we were able to gather together a team of committed volunteers, a board of directors and the message began to spread about Lifeline.
We then began to look for a house. We thought we had found one but it fell through. Looking back at this, the Lord's hand was clearly moving because it had a 100 foot garden and this would have been a real handful to maintain. In October 2012 we did find the right house for and praise the Lord, an offer was accepted £10,000 below the asking price. Our first house completed' on 11th January 2013. We then set to work on renovating the house and we were amazed by the volunteers who came in and freely gave up their time to bring the house up to an exceptional standard. We were also really blessed by finding a Christian builder to help us convert the house to a house of multiple occupancy. We were able to house our first three residents on 19th February 2013.
We completed on our second house in December 2013 and we then completed on our third house in July 2015, and our fourth in August 2018. All are three bedroom houses. So we can now house 12 residents at any one time.
Lifeline became a Registered Charity in 2012. We have been so encouraged by how people across the churches of Harrogate have offered up their support. We do not force our faith of anyone and always respect where people are at in terms of their own spiritual journey, or none. A place in Lifeline is in no way conditional and we house people without discrimination or favour.
Since housing people 7 years ago there have been over 20,000 nights of accommodation provided in Lifeline houses. This has meant people being able to live in a place of security and rest, knowing that we are there to support them and that they have a place they can call 'home', with the dignity of having their own front door key.
We have housed 58 men over that period. 60% of the leavers have gone onto live independently, 26% returned to the referring agency and 13% have left Lifeline and not informed us where they are residing. 58% have found paid work whilst with Lifeline, 75% have actively engaged with their support plan and 74% have engaged in meaningful activity.
We have a vision to 'enlarge the place of our tent' and have plans for a woman's house and more male spaces subject to demand.
Thank you for showing an interest in what we are doing.
Please note you can see our latest accounts here.
CEO Lifeline Harrogate
Carl Good is an Accredited Member of the National Landlords Association