Based in Soho, London, the House of St Barnabas is working towards a future where lasting good work, a secure home and a supportive network are a reality for those affected by homelessness. Their mission is to break the cycle of homelessness.
The House of St Barnabas delivers its mission through its Employment Academy, where participants experience a holistic, tailored programme of long-term support, helping them secure good work, a good home, and a good network. Employment Academy programmes are built on lived experiences; that help make sure that programmes are effective and impactful. Programmes are built to lead to real, positive change. The House of St Barnabas acts as a driving voice to make good work a reality for all.
Underpinning the Employment Academy is its vibrant members’ club, a social enterprise which deepens impact by:
- Providing a network for academy participants of supportive mentors, employers and friends
- Offering a training ground for those returning to work through training and work placements in hospitality and office-based roles
- Convening creative conversations across sectors and disciplines working to break the cycle of homelessness
Mercy works as a manager in a charity shop. She did not move straight into work after the programme, and it was a while before she took up a volunteering role in a charity shop, to help her to keep busy and motivated. She did a great job, and worked her way up into a paid role. Recently she was transferred to a branch nearer to where she lives, which makes life a lot easier – and cheaper. Mercy was living in a homeless hostel when she joined our programme. Although it has taken 3 years, with some ups and downs along the way, she now lives in her own place paying genuinely affordable rent, and is secure and happy in her work. She is over the moon to be sharing her home with two adorable cats.
Marvyn came to the House of St Barnabas as a very talented young man with a challenging background. His work experience during programme was with the events team in the club. Through our wider HoSB community, we linked him up with an agency after graduation, which enrolled him on a specialist mentoring programme to support talent from diverse backgrounds into the film and tv industry. He worked incredibly hard at his craft, as well as learning how the industry works. Marvyn is now a credited costume assistant with experience on major film productions and tv drama.
Rory was one of the first programme graduates. After completing the programme, he got work at The House of St Barnabas in the bar and restaurant, employed by our commercial partner at the time, Benugo. He worked hard and was promoted to Team Leader. After a couple of years, he decided to move out of hospitality into other work. Rory gained skills, confidence and a working track record with Benugo, but even more wonderfully, he met his partner. They moved in together and last year they had a beautiful baby boy.