Providence Row is a small charity in the East End,
working with Sisters of Mercy and Providence Row Association they
provide both emergency and long term problems of homelessness in
Tower Hamlets, one of the poorest areas in the UK.
The charity has a background of Christian values, which include
helping everybody in need no matter what their beliefs are. This
principle has been kept since Monsignor Daniel Gilbert, a young priest,
founded Providence Row.
Providence Row has been going since 1860, founded by Monsignor Daniel
Gilbert, a young priest. In 1958 he found 5 sisters to come and
work in London with him, the sisters then raised enough money to
lease a property in Finsbury Square. The sisters used the stable
and coach house at the back to house 14 women and children. In
1866 a refuge in Chrispin Street in Spitalfields had been built
and then open in 1868.
By 1972 Providence Row Housing Association had been formed, by the
1990s the charities focus was on helping those with no where else
to go and by 1994 the Dellow Day Centre near Brick Lane had opened.
Providence Row has two main centres, the Aldgate Advice Centre
and the Dellow Day Centre near Brick Lane (the Chrispin Street
is no longer being used). Services that are provided by Providence
Row are counselling and women sessions (long term and drop in
sessions) as 55% of the women that go there are involved in some
prostitution and over 90% of the women have had involvement in
prostitution at some point in time.
However the majority of service provided are focussed around independent
living skills including, help with finding accommodation, food, clothing,
blankets, sleeping bags and access to use of a telephone.
Providence Row aim is to help the poor and distressed, in Tower Hamlets
as well as homeless people from other areas of London. This includes
ruff sleepers, squatters, people in temporary accommodation, lonely,
vulnerable, people who have been in care and the 'hidden homeless'.
Today Providence Row Focuses on providing day time services to those
in need, the main principle is that everybody can use the services
provided whatever religion, ethnicity or age group they come from.