New roof for homelessness charity means they can focus on what they do best
New Life for Historic St Paul’s Homes
Grade II listed almshouses that have lain empty for almost a decade have been brought back into use with the help of construction and property industry charity CRASH. Situated in the heart of Salisbury, St Paul’s Homes now provide 12 one person flats for previously homeless people from the immediate area.
“We wanted to restore these flats at St Paul’s and create a community where conditions flourish to enable people to develop their skills, regain their self-esteem and take a more meaningful place in society,” said Brian Swann, Director of Operations and Partnerships at Bournemouth Churches Housing Association (BCHA), worked with Salisbury Trust for the Homeless to restore St Paul’s Homes to enable them to once again provide vital accommodation in the city.
How patrons helped
The social impact
“I was an art teacher at Bishop Wordsworth’s School, taught pottery at the college and had a home where I lived with my family. Everything was going to plan.
Then my daughter was diagnosed with lymphoma and I found that I just couldn’t cope. I became very depressed and ill myself although, thank goodness, my daughter made a full recovery. I was admitted to a mental health unit for treatment but whilst there my marriage broke down.
Suddenly I found myself with no income, no home and no hope. I was homeless for about 18 months – just like that everything fell apart. I stayed in a hostel but really wanted a place of my own. My new flat is fantastic. It feels like a new start. It’s great to have my own space.
Being homeless you get no privacy, although at the same time it’s very isolating and you lose friends. I’d like to get back into work one day but in the meantime I could do some volunteering and befriending for people with mental illness.
Also, I can now be a mother to my children rather than them looking after me.”
“When someone becomes homeless, having no stable place to call home, it is often a long road back to independence. BCHA and Salisbury Trust for the Homeless have provided that secure base to enable many people to rebuild their lives, by giving them support and encouragement to help overcome the issues which have led to homelessness.”
Director of Operations and Partnerships at BCHA