With your help our aim is to provide a ‘home’ in the heart of Swansea for those who are most vulnerable. A building that is known for unconditional hospitality and hope – providing a lifeline for the homeless and others who need it.
The idea for Matthew’s House was born in mid-2016 when The Hill Church purchase a previously renovated Grade 2 listed building, called St Matthew’s. The building had a history of serving the poorest and most vulnerable, but due to sad circumstances it had been closed for nearly two years. The purchase was completed using funds donated by the church. This was then followed by months and months of volunteer hours being given to turn the building into Matthew’s House – a house of hospitality and hope in the heart of Swansea.
In early 2017 the first initiative of Matthew’s House was launched – Matt’s Cafe. The concept was simple. Intercept perfectly edible food destined for bins by local supermarkets and businesses, and turn it in to delicious ‘home-cooked’ style meals available to all, but particularly those who are homeless or vulnerable. It would be run by volunteers and funded on a pay-as-you-feel basis. We would simply ask all guests to consider a donation that is within their means. This was in keeping with the whole concept of hospitality and hope at Matthew’s House. After publicising the cafe idea in the community the initial start-up team was overwhelmed with offers of support and encouragement. It soon became clear that the idea had captured the hearts and minds of the ugly lovely city.
Within a matter of months it was necessary for The Hill Church to seed-fund the employment of a project manager to cope with the demand of launching Matthew’s House and fulfilling its potential to make an impact. We were able to establish a core group of volunteers from across the city – all from different backgrounds, beliefs and circumstances. We now lovingly describe everyone who supports us with time, talent or treasure a member of the crazy Matt’s House family!
We have a small but growing number of Friends of Matthew’s House who are willing to give a small amount per month to the exclusive work of Matthew’s House. This, along with the ongoing support of The Hill Church, has made a real difference to our planning and potential.
The cafe launched with taster-Mondays in March 2017, and then in April 2017 it opened its doors on a Sunday evening, and daytime hours Monday to Tuesday. The team behind the cafe, with the exception of one person, are all volunteers (and even the employee puts in volunteer hours!). The team exceeds 70 volunteers – all united by the cause and power of hospitality to bring hope into people’s lives. At the end of 2017 we had served over 8,000 meals.
We have started other initiatives or are in the process of raising funds to do more and make them happen. These include a ‘donate with dignity token scheme, showers and laundry facilities. We could not do any of this without the support of so many people. The team behind Matthew’s House have been truly humbled by what has happened and will happen. This is a special place, with a simple ethos, big vision and an incredible group of people from our city who want to make a difference. Since opening we have seen story after story of impact from people ‘having their first job volunteering’ to people moving onto start a business of their own. We have partnered with local and national businesses and continue to hope that more can be achieved. We hope you might consider being part of it.
Together we can make a difference.
We will always seek to work with other organisations and partners to make this lifeline even stronger, but also need the help of like-minded, generous supporters to make the biggest impact with Matthew’s House. People can help by volunteering, providing a discounted or free service, or by giving a small amount of money or needed items each month. Whatever you choose to do, you really can help us make a difference to the many who need it, as long as it is needed.
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