STOREHOUSE WAS LAUNCHED FROM A SMALL CUPBOARD IN THE OFFICES OF BELFAST CITY VINEYARD CHURCH IN MARCH 2008, WITH A VERY SIMPLE AIM OF DEMONSTRATING THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND MERCY OF GOD BY WORKING TOWARDS THE DAY WHERE NO ONE IN THE GREATER BELFAST AREA SHOULD HAVE TO GO HUNGRY.
Challenging it’s congregation to buy one or two extra food items each week, all the food was collected and arranged into pre–set food parcels and partnering with one local charity, Storehouse provided for 10 families each week. After a few short months Storehouse moved from that small cupboard in the churches office to our existing warehouse in Dunmurry.
By 2010 Storehouse had grown, providing for approximately 40 families each week, establishing partnerships with close to 30 charities across the city. As the demand increased, several other churches from various denominations caught Storehouse’s vision and joined in with the food collections. As a result, Storehouse (NI) was established as a standalone charity to honour the new church partnerships and the sense of unity that was being formed.
Just a year later, in 2011, Storehouse began to sense a real need and calling to provide more than food and so tentative steps were taken towards the provision of clothes, furniture and household goods alongside the food parcels. Steps were also taken to move towards something that had been on the hearts of the Storehouse team from the very beginning, a dedicated space where more could be done than simply provide physical items. A space where the lives and the significance of those Storehouse serves could be celebrated.
The Storehouse centre was opened in Belfast city centre in June 2012. Storehouse believe that every single person, regardless of their story, is uniquely significant and so the desire is that everyone who crosses the door would know they are seen, loved and celebrated.
At the Storehouse centre, referrals are received from all the partnering charities and Storehouse volunteers are able to sit with those individuals, hear their story over a coffee and then provide food, clothes and furniture with the utmost dignity and respect.
Today Storehouse are providing over 120 food parcels, seeing 80 referrals in the Storehouse centre and making around 10–15 furniture deliveries, every week, whilst partnering with over 200 charities and agencies across the city and work alongside 50+ churches, schools and businesses.