Homelessness London May 2015

BAXI Brings Warmth to Wellmeadow Road

CRASH has been working with Kairos Community Trust for many years supporting a number of their development projects. The charity has an excellent record of providing services to extremely needy and vulnerable homeless people.

The need

This current project in South East London will see the extensive refurbishment of a six bedroom property which provides move on accommodation for people who have completed their rehabilitation programme. This type of accommodation is in scare supply throughout the country and Kairos receives many referrals each week.

The solution

To make the property fit for purpose, it would require a lot of work and materials. We reached out to our CRASH patrons to see how we could get started on the project.

How patrons helped

Thanks to the generosity of BAXI, this much needed resource now has proper heating and hot water. CRASH will continue to work with Kairos by providing further pro-bono professional expertise and materials.

The social impact

For Mossie Lyons, director of the Kairos Community Trust, the 17th March 2007 is a hugely significant date – it was when the hall at Linden Grove in Nunhead, south London, was transformed with help from CRASH. Kairos helps people who become homeless through addiction. It has a network of 28 supported move-on houses, mostly in south London.

The relationship between Kairos and CRASH goes back 13 years, starting with work on its Linden Grove building. CRASH was impressed by the quality of Kairos’ work and concerned about the lack of provision in this part of London. It decided that to work with Kairos effectively it would need to invest long term. CRASH’s help has involved everything from boiler installations, painting projects, kitchen fit-outs and building extensions. Much of this was only possible with the materials donated by companies including Baxi.

“The phone number for CRASH was included in the development notes, so I decided to get in touch. Then the process kicked in. CRASH also gives professional advice. For example, Guildersfield Road is a listed building – we were able to get guidance on what would be appropriate development.”

Mossie Lyons

Director at Kairos

“My mental health issues started, but the alcohol masked it all. That’s how I ended up on the streets, after a nervous breakdown. I was a seven stone tramp full of beard, drinking on the streets of Euston. An outreach worker came and sat next to me. She explained who she was and just talked to me a little bit. After a few visits she asked me ‘do you want to get clean?’”

Dominic O’Gorman

Support worker at Kairos

“The phone number for CRASH was included in the development notes, so I decided to get in touch. Then the process kicked in. CRASH also gives professional advice. For example, Guildersfield Road is a listed building – we were able to get guidance on what would be appropriate development.”

Mossie Lyons

Director at Kairos

“My mental health issues started, but the alcohol masked it all. That’s how I ended up on the streets, after a nervous breakdown. I was a seven stone tramp full of beard, drinking on the streets of Euston. An outreach worker came and sat next to me. She explained who she was and just talked to me a little bit. After a few visits she asked me ‘do you want to get clean?’”

Dominic O’Gorman

Support worker at Kairos

Residents in Kairos accommodation find themselves homeless for a wide range of reasons, and there is no typical homeless person. Dominic received support from Kairos as he found his feet. When he needed a work placement scheme to fulfil the requirements of a social care course, Kairos was more than happy to let Dominic volunteer at the home. Turning around the fortunes of people like Dominic is the challenge facing charities such as Kairos, and for Mossie the work to improve its accommodation is vital to that aim. And he is keen to stress the important role the work of other people played to make it all happen – “We would not have done it without CRASH.”

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