Former homeless people told stories and read poetry to support a charity that helped them off the streets today.
The Archer Project’s carol service took place in Sheffield Cathedral, where the project started in the winter of 1989. Every year the venue is used to bring people together to sing carols and celebrate the work of the project.
There are currently an estimated 4,200 people on the streets in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Tim Renshaw, CEO of the Archer Project, said: “The project was started because of compassion, seeing people hungry, cold and placeless and the basic human response to that.”
By simply inviting those people into the cathedral for a hot drink, the Archer Project was born, and it has grown from there.
Mr Renshaw told Sheffield Wire that more was now known about homelessness and there was an approach that worked with people on the street through to people getting into employment.
He said: “Employment is a wonderful thing, employment is a chance to meet people, feel as though we’re doing something. It offers much more than just pay.”
The Archer Project offer lots of various services such as health, accommodation and being part of society.
Dean of Sheffield cathedral, Abi Thompson, ran today’s carol service and told us it had been great to see the project grow and develop into what it is now and that they work extremely hard to give people food every day.
Soup and bread were given out after the service and many homeless people that the charity helped turned up.
Chris Lynam, 38, performed one of his poems in the service which told the story of suicide and loss and had the whole cathedral captivated.
He told Sheffield Wire he came from an abusive childhood, he was led down some dark paths such as mental illness, addiction and substance misuse.
In the summer of 2017 Chris got released from prison halfway through a three year and nine-month sentence and was homeless with not a lot of prospects for the future.
Mr Lynam said: “I don’t know where my life would be now if I didn’t walk through the doors here.”