The Saviour Trust
Sometimes the most impactful projects start with a simple act of kindness. This was the case for The Saviour Trust, one of Green Pastures' first partners. The project began when Vic Iwanuschak noticed a homeless man seeking shelter from the rain under a part of his church's historic building. Vic took him home, but soon realised that he needed to find better help for him and the other homeless people he was accommodating in his shed. After calling Green Pastures, he was connected to Pastor Pete, who offered to provide not just one but two houses for them.
From these humble beginnings in 2006, The Saviour Trust was born. Green Pastures provided the support and foundation necessary for the project's growth, Hannah Iwanuschak, Vic's daughter-in-law, now manages the project and continually moves it forward to care for as many people as possible.
Nowadays The Saviour Trust provides over 500 units of supported accommodation in Pontefract, Wakefield, and Leeds, supporting people at their most vulnerable and helping them get back on their feet. The Saviour Trust is a charity working towards ending homelessness throughout Yorkshire. The organisation offers support in areas such as employability, budgeting, family reconciliation, health & hygiene, and developing the skills to become a positive member of the community, promoting emotional and personal wellbeing.
The Saviour Trust believes that an individual's basic needs must be met before support can begin. Warmth, food, and a safe space to sleep are essential. Once a person has these things, The Saviour Trust will begin to support them in other areas. They provide a non-judgmental environment and recognize that everyone has a past, but to have a future, they need a chance to recover and be supported to make a change.
The Saviour Trust recognizes that simply giving someone a home is not all that is needed. All their clients require a level of support, and this can vary from person to person and over the course of their stay. For this reason, they offer a variety of support pathways that can be adapted by their support workers. They currently offer 9-5 'drop-in support,' weekly house visits, appointed support sessions, and support hubs in local churches, extra spaces, as well as specially tailored packages that look for new and innovative ways to engage with and help those individuals on the fringes of society.
Green Pastures Partnership Manager, Carl Good, remembered when he first heard about the desperate need in the Leeds area from a Leeds City Council member. They said that each day, they were getting hundreds of people seeking help. Shortly after this, Carl and The Saviour Trust set up a meeting with the head of Housing. Initially, the conversation was frosty, but the council turned around and granted them permission for 60 units for exempt accommodation. Since then, The Saviour Trust has grown way past this initial amount and is successfully helping many people in desperate situations under the management of Leanne Fletcher, who is a human dynamo.
The Saviour Trust is an excellent example of how a small act of kindness can lead to something significant. If you see a need and want to help the homeless and vulnerable in your community, Green Pastures would love to connect with you and share how they might guide and support you for success. Remember, you don't have to have it all together to make a start."