One of our very first partners started out caring and providing housing for people in their community almost by accident. Sometimes we don’t have a grand plan ironed out before we find ourselves in the middle of a situation that needs our immediate attention.
It was raining. Vic Iwanuschak was coming out of his church and noticed someone sheltering under part of the old ruins of the historic building. As he went over he asked him what he was doing there.
“I’m homeless.” Came the reply.
He took him home where he temporarily only had space in his shed, but before long there were two people living there and he knew that he had to find better help for them. Vic had seen a guy with a white beard talking on God TV about housing homeless people, so after calling them up, he was connected to that man, Pastor Pete, from Green Pastures.
Over the phone, Vic asked if he might be able to have a house and the reply was, “We’ll get you two!”
From those days of small beginnings back in 2006, The Saviour Trust was born and was one of Green Pastures very first Partners. We helped them get started and built a strong foundation for the unknown growth that was to come.
Now they have just celebrated 500 units in the Pontefract, Wakefield and Leeds areas, supporting people at their most vulnerable and helping them get back on their feet. Hannah Iwanuschak, Vic's daughter-in-law does an amazing job of managing the whole project and moving it forwards to care for as many people as they can.
Green Pastures Partnership Manager, Carl Good remembered when he first heard about the desperate need in the area of Leeds from a Leeds City Council member. They said that each day they were getting hundreds of people coming for help. Shortly after this, Carl and The Saviour Trust set up a meeting with the head of Housing. "After an initial frosty conversation, they turned around to us and said, “We’ll give you permission for 60 units for exempt accommodation and see how you get on with it.” Which was remarkable. Since this time, due to the overwhelming success in Leeds, they have grown way past this initial amount and are successfully helping many people in desperate situations, under the management of Leanne Fletcher, who’s a human dynamo!"
If you find yourself in a situation where you see the need and want to help the homeless and vulnerable in your community, we’d love to connect with you and share how we might guide and support you for success. You don't have to have it all together to make a start. Click here for more details.