Our supported housing works alongside our residents for as long as it takes, sometimes weeks, often months or years with the objective to restore the relationships and foundations that prepare them for what most tend to think of as a normal life- work, family, living and giving.
We support them, we love them and as necessary, we feed and clothe them.
We help arrange meetings, transport and go to meetings with them, helping them to fill in forms along with many other things that are often taken for granted. Whatever it takes.
Where required, we work with them through their drug and/or alcohol issues linking up with other agencies to provide any additional support and help required.
There is no fixed time that each resident is with us, some have been with us a couple of months and then been able to regain employment and move on to their own place. For some it takes longer with each step helping them towards the final step back into the community and others may never feel like they can, it takes as long as each individual requires.
They were once homeless and now they’re not, they had drug and/or alcohol issues and now they don’t.
Everyone thinks ah great, now they can go back to work, be good people, look after themselves and be an upstanding contributing member of society.
If only that was the case for everyone we come across. Don’t get us wrong, in many instances that is how it ends up. The reality is that most need easing back into what we call ‘normality’, they need training, they need education, life skills and some would like to learn new work related skills.
Some just need a safe, friendly environment and time to adjust. What we have learnt is that people need practical, constructive ways of using their time.
Our Social Enterprise project requires a stand-alone building where all this can be possible. We have something in mind and we are working towards making it a reality, however we’re in need of some help.
It could be a one off donation, or more regular monthly support, it could be a premises, free rent until we can pay our way. Ultimately, the enterprise centre will generate income, and has the goal of becoming self sufficient – there is plenty of past business expertise in Hopethree16, but we need an initial ‘leg up’.
THE AFTER LIFE
Most homeless people have suffered long term physical and mental abuse, sleeping rough for many years does that to you. It’s a life we find hard to imagine. It changes people.
Our supported housing can and does prepare people for the next steps and some do go on straight from our supported housing to successful careers and relationships. Our job is to prepare them as best as we can for the ‘after life’, the life after homelessness and supported housing.
In some cases, that is as simple as knowing that we are still there to support them, help them and even, provide a shoulder to cry on. For others it’s progressing from a shared house of multiple occupancy to ‘having a place of their own’. Doesn’t sound much does it, but it is a big move and in many cases, a very positive and life changing experience. The ‘after life’ is our project to provide the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle, the natural progression into their own place.
To do this we need to provide properties that are appropriate to this requirement, primarily affordable one and two bedroom apartments. In essence, this and in some cases, the Social Enterprise Environment can lead to effective and long term sustainable change in people’s lives.
In some cases, it’s a never ending process, but we never give up trying.