Homelessness West Midlands Jul 2016

SIFA Showers Benefit from Imtech’s Expertise

SIFA Fireside is a drop in centre which provides essential services to homeless people in Birmingham to improve their physical, social and mental well-being. The charity supports clients’ long and short term needs by providing free breakfasts and hot lunches every weekday, access to showers and bathroom facilities 7 days a week, laundry facilities, a clothes store, and a range of health, housing and training/employment services.

The need

When you think about everything a homeless person doesn’t have, a roof over their head obviously comes to the forefront, but that’s just the start of things. Homeless people have problems finding places to shower; just because they don’t have a place to call home, doesn’t mean they don’t want to be clean. Which is why the improving the showering facilities at SIFA Fireside is such an important part of the renovations. Heavy use and inadequate design have resulted in the showers – especially the men’s showers – looking tired with mould growing in some places.

On average, 133 homeless people in Birmingham visit SIFA Fireside every week day, and within a three hour window, an average of 21 showers are taken each day. In total, the centre provides almost 500 showers a month in an area currently serviced by a standard domestic extraction fan in each.

The solution

CRASH called on Patron company Imtech for advice on how best to restore the showering facilities.

How patrons helped

After visiting SIFA Fireside Imtech’s Roland Higgingson was able to specify a new ventilation system and provide expert advice about suppliers / installers of equipment. Roland was also able to make recommendations about any electrical changes that will be required with upgrade of facilities.

The social impact

Thanks to Imtech’s support, SIFA Fireside will be able to ensure the refurbished showers are a vast improvement and able to support such frequent use.  SIFA’s improved facilities will continue to provide a welcoming space where visitors can feel valued and confident to access support which will enable them to begin addressing challenges facing them, and rebuilding their lives, for many years to come.

This project is ongoing with CRASH Patron Carillion taking the lead and working with other Patron companies including Volkerfitzpatrick.  It is due to complete by September 2016.

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