Leeds charity St Anne's relaunches resource centre to mark World Homeless Day

A charity that has been at the heart of supporting homeless people in Leeds for almost five decades has relaunched its city centre base.

St Anne’s Community Services was first founded back in 1971 by a group of volunteers concerned about the growing issue of homelessness.

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Together, they opened a day centre for homeless men behind St Anne’s Cathedral and the seeds for what would become the charity that remains today were sown.

Liz Knight, Christopher Chrzanowski, Derrick Hall and Natalie Moran at St Anne's Resource Centre in York Street. Picture: Simon Hulme

While many organisation’s in the city are today marking World Homeless Day, St Anne’s decided that it would host a week-long programme of guest speakers, networking, a lunch and workshops.

It also felt like the right time to relaunch its resource centre in York Street, which has a unique open-door policy for all people who are vulnerable.

Resource centre manager Liz Knight said: “The centre is the only service in Leeds that offers shower and washing facilities and access to clean clothing and underwear, providing clean towels and toiletries all day within the working week to maintain dignity.

“Unique also to St Anne’s Resource Centre is the provision of a ‘safe mail address’ that can be accessed by those rough sleeping or vulnerably housed. This enables individuals to make and maintain benefit claims, keep in contact with housing providers as well as family and support agencies.”

The centre, which is well known as a safe and welcoming space, also runs a daily Breakfast Club on weekdays morning between 8am and 9am.

It gives clients a support network and a chance to meet with other support agencies who regularly visit the sessions.