County Durham Homelessness May 2014

CRASH Project Progress: First Stop, Darlington

First Stop, Darlington is a ‘one stop shop’ facility for single homeless people. The charity offers a broad range of activities to support to homeless people in their needs assessments to address their self-worth, self-confidence and employability prospects, such as pre-employment workshops, directed learning e.g. literacy & numeracy, life skills and confidence building, work experience opportunities, etc.

First Stop also provides intense support to those people who are deemed by other agencies to be too complex to engage with.

The need

The charity needed to create a new training room and offices on the first floor of their building as well as a new drop in area with shower facilities and a kitchen on the ground floor.

The solution

We called upon our patrons to support the project.

How patrons helped

Through CRASH, so far First Stop has received pro bono professional expertise from Ryder Architecture and free materials from Grafton Merchanting and British Gypsum.

This project is ongoing.

The social impact

“We work with approximately 800-850 people per year providing a range of services. Having a building that is able to accommodate job clubs and training for our client group, in a supported environment that they are comfortable with is important if we are ever going to break the cycle of homelessness and dependence on the state for benefits. Being able to learn in a safe, friendly, warm environment which offers familiarity and reduces anxiety is important. In doing so we will bring clients’ confidence and self-worth higher and with support we will be able to integrate people into other educational and training settings, with a real chance of being able to manage, cope and enjoy the learning process.”

Tracey Freeman

at First Stop

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