In 2008, Helen Syrop volunteered with Sunbridge Road Mission in Bradford City Centre to help feed the homeless. She worked hard to try and find places for these people to sleep, and when there was no other option she opened up her own home.
Helen continued to work in this way on her own until someone joined her in 2009 to set up Hope Housing as a registered charity. The issue of homelessness persisted, Helen wanted to take action in Bradford to address it. She had read an article about a reputable charity that could assist, so she contacted them and asked for a house. In response, they offered to buy two homes for Hope Housing so that they could house and support more homeless people. Around this time, they received £25,000 funding from Bradford Council to work with rough sleepers.
Hope Housing's first destitute house opened in 2010, especially for Eastern European Migrants. Some of the tenants had been victims of human trafficking.
In 2013, after tight funds particularly from the start of 2012, Hope Housing received a call from a trust that wanted to support us for the next three years. This was a real answer to prayer!
The Millside Centre became Hope Housing's new home in 2017 as we continued to grow with more staff members and clients. We were given the 'Overcoming Adversity' award from Green Pastures, a Christian Social Enterprise that helps to provide homes for rough sleepers across the UK.
Despite the obstacles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 we received the keys for our very first owned property. Also, Hope Housing's work with destitute migrants was published in FEANTSA Best Practise Guide in October 2021.
Helen made the decision to leave Hope Housing in 2022. After 14 years, it was not an easy choice to make, but she felt that it was right to go. We hope to carry on her vision of seeing rough sleeping end in Bradford to its fruition: just as God has seen Hope Housing through impossible circumstances before, in terms of finance, capacity, and staffing, we believe that God will continue to do this important work through us, even without Helen.
From small beginnings, Hope Housing has grown and housed over 1000 people, with 55 bed spaces and 40 houses across Bradford as at April 2022.