The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul and Westminster Cathedral first opened the doors of The PASSAGE to homeless people sleeping out nearby in October 1980. The work has grown steadily and now The PASSAGE DAYCENTRE helps an average of 250 people each day. In 1990, at the request of the late Cardinal Hume, The PASSAGE opened a temporary night shelter for the cold winter months. This project never closed and grew into a permanent hostel, PASSAGE HOUSE, which works with 48 people in a variety of ways over a period of time, until they can move forward into longer-term accommodation. Today The PASSAGE is the UK’s largest provider of day care services to homeless people over 25. The PASSAGE is a partnership between the Daughters of Charity and Westminster Cathedral and it derives its ethos from the life and mission of Jesus Christ who said: “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters you do it to me,” as specifically manifested in the life of Vincent de Paul. As a Christian organisation it exists to provide resources, which encourage, inspire and challenge homeless people to transform their lives. It works closely with other agencies and offers a wide range of holistic services to help homeless people maintain their self-respect and move towards a settled way of life. These services include: Meals, clothing, rest room, hairdressing; a listening ear, understanding, advocacy; advice on benefits and accommodation; housing and re-settlement; health care with specialist drug, alcohol, abuse and mental health workers; befriending and mentoring; pastoral support and chaplaincy; a wide range of educational services encompassing literacy, numeracy, ICT training; drama, art and leisure activities; vocational guidance and job search. All these services need to be resourced and The PASSAGE employs over 80 professional staff and a pool of over 200 volunteers to keep everything running smoothly twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Running costs are high and The PASSAGE relies on funding and support from local and central government; a wide range of business and voluntary sector organisations; trusts, charities, local groups, churches and individuals of all faiths and none who give generously on a regular basis.
Contact: The Passage, St Vincent’s Centre, Carlisle Place, London SW1P 1NL
Tel: 0207 782 84183