Who we are
“St Petrock’s saved my life by helping me into supported housing.”
Former St Petrock’s client
Originating as a community project providing humanitarian response to rough sleepers in Exeter, the charity officially opened its doors in December 1994, having being given permission by the Central Parish of Exeter to adapt two thirds of St Petrock’s church for use as a homeless centre.
Over 600 people every year face homelessness and multiple disadvantages in Exeter and the surrounding areas. Many of those who use St Petrock’s are people often viewed as being on the fringes of, or outside of, society. They include rough-sleepers, those being supported in accommodation subsequent to homelessness, those facing imminent homelessness, those released from prison and those discharged from hospital, mental health facilities/specialist accommodation.
Sadly for many, homelessness may be accompanied by mental health issues, drug and/or alcohol problems, often as a result of traumatic events in childhood, as well as a complicated medical issues, often a result of many years of rough sleeping. All of which increase the difficulties in achieving stability and independence within the wider community.
St Petrock’s has been the first point of contact for people who are homeless, or vulnerably housed, in Exeter and surrounding areas for a generation.
Our centre in Cathedral Yard is both the heart of our services and the gateway to specialist service providers. It is unique in the city, in that it offers its own accommodation routes in addition to basic survival services and advice and support, all under one roof.
Our work tackles not only the issues of homelessness but also the accompanying factors, such as anti-social behaviour and wider social inclusion issues.
Some quick stats from between April 2022 and March 2023
In our centre
Our centre in Exeter’s Cathedral Yard is open every weekday, providing rough-sleeper survival services and homelessness support. There were 6,200 visits to our centre in
2022/23 – an average of 25 per day.
Our rough-sleeper outreach team go out on Exeter’s streets twice each weekday, serving meals, hot drinks, carrying out welfare checks and pointing people towards further support. In 2022/23 they made contact with 300 new individuals and engaged with an average of 20 people.
The total cost of running these services runs at £675,000pa on average and over 90% of our income is spent on providing services which directly support our clients. As a local charity, we are fortunate to have the support of the local community which provided over 70 per cent of our income (including legacies).
We stand with and for people experiencing homelessness, and will not give up until everyone in the Exeter area can enjoy a place called home
We believe that everyone is worthy of respect and dignity.
We care about each individual and seek to meet them without prejudice.
By staying independent, we can always put those we help first.
We are here for the long haul, and will keep going for as long as the need exists.
We long for those we support to feel fully part of the generous local community which supports our work.
We commit to the highest standards of integrity and our values guide everything we do.
The people we help face multiple challenges, but accessing our services must not be one of them.