£2.1m loan boost for homeless charity
A NATIONAL charity headquartered in Southport has invested in new properties to house former homeless people and is creating five jobs, following a £2.1m loan.
Green Pastures on Union Street was launched in 1999 by Pastor Pete Cunningham, his son Andrew and business partner, Vicki Woodley, with the aim of providing safe and secure housing for homeless people across the area.
Inspired by the story of the Good Samaritan, Cunningham and his team wanted to create a business that would provide both long-term accommodation for vulnerable members of the community, as well as other services including mentoring, education and pastoral care.
With a core team of 15 members of staff, as well as more than 40 partner churches across the UK, Green Pastures provides more than 650 bed spaces for marginalised individuals.
In order to expand its services even further and increase the number of properties on its roster, Pete approached his long-term banking partner, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, to secure a £2.1m loan.
The funding was used to purchase several new properties across the UK, creating a further 100 bed spaces – all of which have now been occupied. Pete has also been able to recruit five new members of staff as a result of the business’ growth, including a part-time partner liaison officer in the North East.
Cunningham said: “When we launched Green Pastures, we did so with the overall goal of eradicating homelessness in Southport. This goal grew to releasing the church to end homelessness across the UK. We know we’ve set ourselves a huge challenge, but these new properties mean we’re one step closer to making this a reality.”
Alastair Donald, property relationship director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, added: “Green Pastures is an inspirational business on so many levels. Not only does it provide much-needed housing for very vulnerable people, but it also provides them with a range of other services to help improve their lives and get them back on their feet.
“When Pete and his team came to us with a complex business plan, we were able to bring a straight forward approach to solve their needs.
“Working with growing businesses like Green Pastures is something we are passionate about and we have a range of tailored services designed to help small firms expand, develop and achieve their ambitions.”