A homeless charity that has offered a lifeline for rough sleepers in Worcestershire for nearly four decades is now providing shared living accommodation to help people rebuild their lives, thanks to support from Unity Trust Bank.

Maggs Day Centre at St Alban’s Church, Deansway opened in 1985 and supplies hot meals, clothing, shower facilities and outreach support to people at risk of homelessness. In 2023, 287 vulnerable people accessed its services.

Following six-figure funding from ethical banking partner, Unity, Maggs has acquired two residential properties offering communal living space and tailored support for up to 16 people.

Alison Isaacs, Accommodation Project Team Leader at Maggs, said: “The Maggs Accommodation Project (MAP) team works closely with our new tenants to give them time to adjust to moving away from life on the streets and for some, this transition is challenging.

“Being homeless is not something that people chose to do but it can become part of their identity, with their support network consisting of others in the same situation as themselves.

“The regular support given by the team allows our residents to take ownership of past issues such as financial instability and debts, family breakdown and addictions. Working with other agencies, we support them into fulfilling their potential and controlling their futures.

“The aim is to move people on and into their own independent tenancies, volunteering and/or employment but fundamentally provide an address, somewhere they feel safe, and can call home.”

Jane Kemp, a Trustee at Maggs, said: “One of the unique things about Maggs is that we offer support way beyond what people get elsewhere.

“Our aspiration has always been to offer a homely environment and give people the skills and the signposting they need to stand on their own two feet again.

“By helping us to buy these properties, Unity is helping a homeless person take their first step towards having a sustainable home of their own.

“We’ve banked with Unity for many years and approached them for a loan not just because they had better market terms, but because they knew us and we felt there was synergy with how Unity want to see their loan deployed and how we want to use that funding. That was incredibly important to us as a charity, and our relationship manager Amy McDermott is genuinely interested in what we are trying to achieve.”

Now in its 40th year, Unity has become one of the UK’s leading socially-motivated business banks.

Its mission is to help create a better society and it uses customer deposits to support organisations like Maggs that address social, economic or environmental needs in local communities.

Amy McDermott, Relationship Manager at Unity, said: “When organisations like Maggs bank with us, they know that their deposits will be used to finance projects which improve communities around the UK.

“Maggs provides invaluable support to homeless people and we’re proud to support their acquisition of properties to provide accommodation as part of their service.

“Unity colleagues will also be using some of their allocated volunteer days to help with gardening and decorating and to see first-hand the impact Maggs has on people’s lives.”