Oct 2021

A stunning home for men with a history of addiction to live in and rebuild their lives

The Nehemiah Project has been operating for over 20 years, and the demand for its service is growing annually. They provide a home and support for men with a history of addiction, some directly from prison, to change their lives. Their aim is for each man to recover, reconnect with their family and secure meaningful employment to live independent, fulfilling lives.

The Nehemiah Project provides an abstinence-based programme for men who have decided to change their lives. On completion, men ‘graduate’ to their move-on accommodation, where they receive ongoing support.

The need

The Nehemiah Project’s main first stage house and registered office is a four-storey detached Victorian villa opposite Tooting Bec Common in London. The property has 8 bedrooms and a bedsit for a caretaker along with a Supported Housing staff office.

The house is used as a residence for men recovering from homelessness, prison and addiction and includes the main office for the charity. After eighteen years of operating, with hundreds of men receiving residential support, the house needed extensive refurbishment.

The property needed new flooring, decorating throughout, a new kitchen and new bathrooms, external painting, and a new rear patio, which had become a health and safety hazard. Nehemiah want residents to feel valued, and a refurbished house would offer quality accommodation for residents to aid their recovery.

A major refurbishment will also ensure that the charities main asset is maintained for the next 20+ years so that residents, staff and volunteers can have a more pleasant place to live and work.

The solution

Due to costs, the refurbishment was split into two phases allowing Nehemiah to raise additional funds for the project. Phase one was all the internal works so that residents and staff could benefit from the refurbishment sooner, and phase two, repairs to the porch, brickwork and roof, and painting the exterior. 

Residents who had completed the recovery programme were transferred to move-on accommodation before work could start. Office staff moved to Nehemiah houses in Croydon and Clapham.

COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions delayed the start of the project. Supply chain disruption and staff contracting COVID during the project caused additional challenges for the contractor. The project team’s resilience, determination and hard work made it happen and both phases are now complete. Everyone involve should feel immensely proud of this achievement. The ‘new’ house is a bright, spacious and welcoming home and workplace. New residents and staff have now moved back into the house, enjoying a much improved living and working environment. 

Together we have constructed a place that cares for people.

Before & After:

How CRASH Corporate Patrons helped

CRASH Corporate Patrons collaborated with Nehemiah to turn their functional house into a welcoming home in a desirable location to restore their dignity and aid their recovery. CRASH Corporate Patrons Arcadis provided pro bono professional expertise. Beal & Co contributed contract services and leveraged their contacts at Wilson Consultancy to prepare an outline approach for the project, surveying, project management, scope of works production, CAD drawing, new tender, analysis and site visits. Dulux Trade provided paint, filler and dust sheets.

  • £27,426 worth of donated professional services and materials from CRASH Corporate Patrons
  • £21,000 grant awarded by CRASH, made possible through fundraising. The grant helped to leverage the additional funds needed to carry out the work.

The social impact

“I felt anxious leaving prison, but the staff at Nehemiah made me feel welcome. When I arrived at the house, I felt I had landed and had come to the place I was supposed to be. The house is beautiful and massive. I’m absolutely overwhelmed, and it’s nothing like I was expecting. I had the pick of the lot with my room, and the garden is so serene and peaceful.”

First new resident in the refurbished house.

“CRASH was delighted to help create such a welcoming space which will be a home for many people now and in the years to come. Ex-offenders and addicts are particularly vulnerable to homelessness, and for us to help a charity that offers not just a home to homeless people, but essential support with addiction issues, is an important and worthwhile service to maintain.”

Francesca Roberts

Chief Executive at CRASH

“I felt anxious leaving prison, but the staff at Nehemiah made me feel welcome. When I arrived at the house, I felt I had landed and had come to the place I was supposed to be. The house is beautiful and massive. I’m absolutely overwhelmed, and it’s nothing like I was expecting. I had the pick of the lot with my room, and the garden is so serene and peaceful.”

First new resident in the refurbished house.

“CRASH was delighted to help create such a welcoming space which will be a home for many people now and in the years to come. Ex-offenders and addicts are particularly vulnerable to homelessness, and for us to help a charity that offers not just a home to homeless people, but essential support with addiction issues, is an important and worthwhile service to maintain.”

Francesca Roberts

Chief Executive at CRASH

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