Ruby: “People don’t choose to be homeless, but we can choose to help.”

By Alana Roberts

Working with homeless and vulnerable people to help them get a better life is something Ruby Baker has devoted her life to working at the Cathedral Archer Project.

The 23-year-old is originally from Bedfordshire but now lives in Sheffield after studying at university in the city for three years.

Volunteering has always been something Ruby has felt passionate about.

She has worked with a wide range of people from the charity Samaritans, to Nightline and has even helped teach English to refugees.

However, she didn’t really know that much about homelessness before working with the project.

“I was definitely naive. I think a lot of people don’t realise it’s often a lot more than people on the streets.

“There’s a lot of hidden homelessness, people sofa surfing or living in abandoned buildings.”

Some of the people the Cathedral Archer Project work with (names omitted for legal reasons) – photos credit of the Cathedral Archer Project

However, Ruby wants people to realise that it is a bigger problem than what they may think.

“People don’t choose to be homeless, it can be out of their control sometimes and living on the streets seems a better choice than being at home. We need to choose to help them.”

The project has helped many people turn their lives around, get jobs and find a place to live.

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One story sticks out for her, of a man that was brought in by the police after trying to jump off a building.

“He had a lot of problems in his life, he came home at 14 and his whole family had left.. he had a really tough time. We supported him and he even completed qualifications whilst here.

“He stopped taking drugs and got a house, he got more access to his children and even gained a full-time job. That was great to see, he’s flown the nest and we’re proud.”

But, it is not all success for the project.

Unfortunately, due to circumstances the people who seek help can vary day to day from bad to good situations. The project still urges people to come find them no matter what.


To help out or find out more about the Cathedral Archer Project check their website.

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