Pret A Manger has announced a new initiative to help homeless people by providing them accommodation and employment to help them get back on their feet.
The company has had a charitable wing, The Pret Foundation, since 1995 and continues to help the homeless by giving away unsold food – up to three million items a year.
The latest proposal will see the company take 13 homeless people into Pret House at West London Mission St. Luke's, with a plan to get them back on their feet within the year.
Pret are hoping to help 20 people turn their lives around this year and will also provide them with expert advice and help getting into the private rented market.
“We set up the Pret Foundation with the singular purpose of breaking the cycle of homelessness, and to do that, we believe that people need three things: food, employment and shelter,” said Pret CEO, Clive Schlee.
The project has been in the pipeline for five years and will focus on providing people afflicted by homelessness, poverty and trauma with financial resilience, accommodation with affordable rent comparative with their wage, and expert advice on how to get a bank account and save money.
Pret has also had an initiative called Rising Stars for ten years, which helps ex-homeless people get back into work.
Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Heather Wheeler MP, said: “This is not just about putting a roof over their heads – but also about ensuring they have the support they need to recover from life on the streets and get back on their feet.
“This important scheme will provide vulnerable rough sleepers with the vital assistance they need to secure their own home and rebuild their lives.”