Christian Action Resource Enterprise was started as a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee in 1992 and was born out of the perceived need to address inequalities in society and a desire for a response to poverty, hardship and distress.
A call to meet the needs of the disadvantaged first became expressed in the birth of a charity shop located on the seafront in Cleethorpes in 1992. This sought to assist those unable to access traditional avenues of help when in need of material items such as clothing, furniture and white goods.
Over £250,000 of furniture (second hand value) has been donated since the charity started in 1992.
During 2009 the shop underwent a major refurbishment providing an up to date, high standard working and shopping facility for customers, volunteers and employees.
CARE Rent Scheme
Within 3 years it soon became clear that furniture and goods were not the only problem facing those in need and the requirement for low cost and accessible accommodation for the disadvantaged became an irresistible call. In 1996 the CARE Rent Scheme was developed which allowed prospective tenants to access private rented accommodation without a bond and months advance rent. CARE provided guarantees to landlords to cover advance rent and damage. The scheme gained popularity amongst landlords and local agencies that saw the need and benefits.
Since the scheme started in 1996 we have housed over 3,500 families and single people.
During 2001 the CARE Shop premises along with seven flats above became available for purchase and with the aid of local supporters enough guarantors were found to enable the raising of a mortgage. CARE became a landlord themselves.
In 2007 CARE purchased two more houses and between 2007-2008 entered in to 5 year leasing agreements with a local landlord to provide shared houses under the ROUTES project.
It soon became clear that the ‘step up’ for residents from hostels in to private landlord flats was a particularly difficult one and CARE sought to deliver a way in to independent living for more difficult to house groups by providing a scheme of shared houses which was established in 2008. Local government funding through the Supporting People Programme was obtained to help provide 20 units of support across these shared houses.
Daily Bread Food Larder (in partnership with Churches Together)
It also became clear that there was a need to address ‘temporary’ and ‘short term’ poverty and in conjunction with Churches Together in North East Lincolnshire the Daily Bread Food Larder was developed as a means of donating emergency food parcels to those in temporary difficulty. These will be, for example, those who are experiencing a change in benefits due to an alteration in circumstances, those leaving hostel accommodation and those experiencing debt problems.
CARE Homeless Prevention
During 2007/08 CARE were commissioned by the local Supporting People Programme to provide support through a Homeless Prevention project to 40 families and single people. Referrals were primarily from the Council’s Homeless Team. These clients also proved to have complex needs involving interaction with social services, health, probation and the criminal justice system.
In 2009 we were successful in our funding application to the Parenting Fund and CARE Parenting was established. Over the last few years CARE Parenting has provided general parenting courses and also specialised parenting courses such as children with special needs, children moving to secondary school, teenage parents and even courses for dads. The service also operated via outreach; through 1:1’s or our drop-in facility to ensure that services do not become “hard to reach”.
CARE Family Support
In 2011 CARE were successful in obtaining a new Supporting People Family Support contract. This contract provides 60 units of 1:1 housing related support and is aimed at helping people who are about to become homeless or who are under threat of homelessness.