Providence Row

Providence Row supports people in times of crisis, providing a safe space, food, warmth and access to advice & support. Through its employment & progression schemes and its mental and physical health services, Providence Row provide the tools that enable people to create healthy, independent lives.


Project overview

Project name: Employability & progression
Theme: Jobs, skills and financial health
Location: East London

Providence Row has been supporting homeless people in East London since 1860. Through its day centre in Tower Hamlets, Providence Row helps roughly 1,200 of the most social and financially excluded individuals in society every year (those in Tower Hamlets and neighbouring boroughs) to get off, and stay off, the streets. They help them begin their journey to recovery and move towards a stable, secure and independent life. 

With the support of Power Up 2.0, Providence Row plans to develop its Employability & progression project to ensure beneficiaries can access and remain in touch with the ever-changing jobs market, and societal and technological demands which means that the use of digital skills is now crucial for most elements of everyday life – both socially and professionally. 

The Employability & progression project will not only help Providence Row’s clients access employment,  it will also significantly boost their understanding and confidence around their digital skills and use of technology.

In conversation with Providence Row

What inspired you to apply for Power Up funding?

Providence Row was very keen to secure funding to scale up and re-introduce elements of our previous Employability delivery that was drastically reduced or suspended due to the impact of the pandemic. We applied for this funding so we could kick-start our employability provision in support of some of the most disadvantaged and excluded members of society. We want to reach those who have been badly affected by Covid-19 in terms of their increased levels of loneliness, isolation and a big reduction in opportunities as a result of people’s everyday lives moving online over the last 24 months.

What does the funding mean to your organisation?

This multi-year Power Up funding and the partnership with Good Things Foundation and the J. P. Morgan Chase Foundation means Providence Row has the ability to place our efforts on the delivery and expansion of our vital Employability & Progression project. The project means we are secure in the knowledge that we have the funding in order to do so for the next two years. This income security means we can now focus on helping our extremely disadvantaged homeless clients in deprived areas of East London to move closer to and/or into employment. We will also help them to develop their vital digital and financial health skills, enabling them to become more included members of society and give them the opportunity to break the cycle of homelessness and develop more independent and sustainable lives.

How do you hope your project will help your local community?

Providence Row’s Employability & Progression project will form a significant part of our efforts to help our homeless clients, including rough sleepers and vulnerably   housed people, continue their journey away from the streets and towards recovery. By helping our clients break the cycle of homelessness, the Power Up project will support them to re-engage with society and their local communities in East London in a positive and constructive way. Unfortunately, although not all the time, homelessness also entails elements of anti-social behaviour. However, by helping our clients move away from a life on the streets, the Power Up project will help to reduce both the number of people experiencing homelessness as well as the negative connotations associated with this homelessness.

What’s the main thing you would like to get out of your involvement in the Power Up programme?

We would be delighted if our involvement in the Power Up Programme led to us reducing homelessness and helping more of our clients move closer to and/or into employment. We are also very keen to add the Learn My Way Financial Health course to our learning and training offer to our clients, something we have not managed to do before in such a focussed way. We also very much look forward to developing relationships with Good Things Foundation, the J P Morgan Chase Foundation (who have offices in the vicinity of our day centre) and the other Power Up 2.0 Grantees. There are some good crossovers between some of our work and so there could be a lot of important shared learning from our involvement in this programme.