St Mungo’s CEO Charles Fraser to step down in April
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing
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St Mungo's chief executive Charles Fraser will leave in April 2014 after nearly 20 successful years in the role.
Mr Fraser joined as a hostel worker in 1980, becoming CEO in 1994. Since then St Mungo’s has continued to be the leading homelessness agency in London, running the mayor’s severe weather shelter programme, the No Living On The Streets project and, together with Broadway, the No Second Night Out project. It also delivers the mayor’s Social Impact Bond on rough sleeping.
“When I joined St Mungo’s, I assumed it was a temporary job. I certainly never expected that, more than 30 years later, I would find myself looking back on a career," said Fraser, who was made a CBE in 2007 for services to homeless people in London.
St Mungo's has not announced any possible successor to Fraser.
St Mungo’s now works not just in London but also across the south of England, especially Bristol, and manages more than 175 housing, health and work projects. Each night St Mungo’s houses more than 1,900 men and women.
Fraser said: "Running a homelessness charity as wide-ranging as St Mungo’s is complicated, and sometimes frustrating as one tries to get homelessness taken seriously but, overall, it has been an enormous privilege to have led an organisation which, I like to believe, has made a real difference to the lives of so many extremely disadvantaged people. I count myself fortunate to have known and worked with so many able and dedicated people, both in St Mungo’s and outside.
“It now feels right, however, to let someone else steer St Mungo’s through its next phase of development and impact. After I leave next April, I will take some time off before considering my next steps.”
Paul Doe, Chair of St Mungo’s Board, said: “On behalf of the Board, I want to place on record our gratitude to Charles for his unswerving commitment to improving services for homeless people. Charles has dedicated his career to being a forthright advocate for people who are destitute, and has been a key player in St Mungo’s ground-breaking new services which have helped tens of thousands of people over the last 30 years.
“During his time at the helm, he has supported innovations from the only specialist project for older men tackling alcohol problems and the first hostel-based prescribing service to, more recently, our unique LifeWorks psychotherapy service, the first Social Impact Bond supporting rough sleepers and the first Recovery College in the homelessness sector.
“He has steered St Mungo’s from being a £10m charity employing around 350 staff in 1994 to one with a turnover of £54m, employing around 900 staff, of whom almost one in 10 are people who have been homeless themselves and who are now helping others. His front-line background in resettlement and employment and skills means that he has always known that homeless people can progress in their lives, given the right kind of assistance and support, and this knowledge has influenced very directly his leadership of St Mungo’s.”