CLOSURE ANNOUNCEMENT

It is with great sadness that we announce that the House of St Barnabas charity and members’ club has begun the process of winding up and is closed with immediate effect.

Over the last 10 years, 307 individuals who have experienced homelessness have graduated from our programmes and we have supported them to achieve good work, a secure home and a supportive network.  We have agreed a partnership with the charity Only A Pavement Away who have committed to ensure all of our graduates will receive the Progression Support we have promised them on their journey. The building and chapel at 1 Greek Street will continue to be held in trust for charitable purposes.

We had no alternative during the pandemic other than to take hospitality in-house, or face permanent closure in 2020. We were determined to give it a go and as a result have had 3 additional years of impact. But the challenges that we have faced through the pandemic and subsequent years have eroded our financial reserves.

We invested for growth this financial year and tried relentlessly to find ways to make the model work. But the returns did not come quickly enough. Then over the summer we had a forced closure due to a part collapse of the ceiling in our bar, which lost us critical income and momentum. While some of these losses were recouped through insurance, our business has not picked up to the level we needed to continue. With our costs growing substantially faster than income, our business model is simply not sustainable in the current economic environment, and we have had too many ‘rainy days’ to ride it out.

We have explored other options for our model, but we no longer have the resources to invest in a new approach. We have been uncompromising in our values throughout, continuing to pay London Living Wage as basic and providing guaranteed hours and sick pay for our hospitality colleagues.

A core team of 7 employees will be temporarily retained to the end of January, to manage the wind down and support our Employment Academy graduates as best they can, before Adam Stephens and Chris Allen of Evelyn Partners LLP are formally appointed liquidators. Formal notification to creditors will follow in due course. Over the next few weeks, we will provide as much support as possible to staff, graduates and our wider community.

We want to express our sincere thanks to all our members and supporters. We are so very sorry that the journey is ending here, but every penny you have spent or donated to us has helped us break the cycle of homelessness.

Thanks to our incredible staff, senior leadership and wider staff team, past and present, who have worked passionately to try to overcome the challenges of the last few years and always prioritised our impact. You are all brilliant.

And most of all thank you to our programme participants and graduates who have inspired us with their creativity, their resilience, and their ability to overcome and start anew.

Finally, thank you to everyone who made our community so special. We are proud of what we have built over the past 10 years.

We have been the club that never joined the club.

 

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