The Prince of Wales visited The Passage to officially open two residential buildings. Bentley House and Passage House have gone through extensive refurbishments and are an important part of The Passage’s long-term strategy to end homelessness in London. Together they will support approximately 225 people who are experiencing homelessness each year.
The Prince became Royal Patron of The Passage in February 2019, having visited the charity numerous times over the previous years, firstly as a young child with his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
During the visit, The Prince met residents, staff and volunteers to hear about the impact the new facilities will have on those who The Passage supports. His Royal Highness also heard from representatives from organisations who have supported the refurbishment. To mark the official opening of the two buildings, The Prince made a short speech and unveiled two new plaques.
In his address to guests, His Royal Highness highlighted his determination to play a significant role in helping homelessness become rare, brief and nonrecurrent.
“No single organisation or sector can end homelessness; but by working together in true partnership, organisations like The Passage can help demonstrate it is not an inevitable part of life. I believe this is how we can make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurrent. I am determined to play a significant role to support this becoming a reality and look forward to sharing further details later this year.”
– His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
“Every day at The Passage we see people full of talent, but who have had precious little opportunity given to them. We recognise that no one in this country is born on the streets; circumstances cause people to become street homeless. Our role is to ensure that everyone who comes to our door is given access to those opportunities; opportunities that are the fundamental right of every person in this country.”
– Mick Clarke, Chief Executive of The Passage
Mick Clarke added, “So, whilst we rightly thank all those who have provided the bricks and mortar to refurbish our buildings, we also thank the many people – our supporters, volunteers, staff, and our Royal Patron, The Prince of Wales – who provide the vital ingredients of heart, soul and love which enables these projects to be not just houses, but homes.”
The Passage was founded in 1980 to provide practical support and a wide range of services to help transform the lives of people who are street homeless. Each year, The Passage helps around 2,500 people to end their homelessness for good and believes everyone deserves a place to call home.