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Housing Practice

Emmaus UK

Written by Works for Freedom (15/08/14)

Emmaus is a homelessness charity with a difference. They don't just give people a bed for the night; they offer a home, meaningful work and a sense of belonging.

Emmaus social enterprises generate revenue that pays for companions' home, food and upkeep, as well as providing a small weekly allowance. This is key to restoring feelings of self-worth, showing these individuals that their actions make a real difference, both to their own life, and the lives of others.

Unlike a lot of provision for homeless people, Emmaus communities offer a home for as long as someone needs it. Emmaus companions get a room of their own, food, clothing and a small weekly allowance. In return, they ask:

  • That companions work for 40 hours per week, or give as much time as they are able, in the community's social enterprise;
  • That they behave in a respectful way towards one another;
  • That no alcohol or illegal drugs are used on the premises;
  • That they sign off all benefits, with the exception of housing benefit.

Emmaus' main business is collecting donated goods and selling them in their shops. They also run Emmaus cafés, house clearance businesses, gardening projects and clothing shops. Many Emmaus communities also 'upcycle' old furniture, re-painting and re-upholstering it to give it a new lease of life before it is sold on. This gives Emmaus companions the opportunity to gain new skills, or use their existing creative flair to bring something back into use.

Published in Housing Practice

Bench Outreach

Written by Works for Freedom (05/08/14)

Bench Outreach help people access appropriate housing and treatment, and provide signposting, advice, referral and advocacy as needed. This service now works with over 200 people annually. These services are inclusive, confidential, non judgmental service founded on equality, diversity and the sanctity of human life.

Their objectives are:

  • To assess and refer clients to appropriate services within a timescale that meets their needs
  • To continually evaluate the experiences of their clients and adopt a creative approach to ensure that future plans do not result in a repetition of past failures
  • To ensure that communication and understanding is at the heart of the relationships with their clients and partners
  • To participate in training and reflective practice that informs the future direction and delivery of services
  • To engage in local and national dialogues that seek to influence the provision of services and end discrimination against homeless individuals with complex needs
  • To explore and develop new approaches to housing and treatment provision.
Published in Housing Practice

Thames Reach

Written by Works for Freedom (13/06/14)

Thames Reach supports homeless, vulnerable and isolated men and women through a range of services, activities and accommodation projects.

Their aim is for the people they help to have decent homes, supportive relationships and fulfilling lives.

They provide assistance to people who are:

  • Currently sleeping rough on the streets.
  • Living in temporary or insecure accommodation.
  • Struggling to keep the tenancy on their flat.
  • Isolated from support networks, family and friends.
  • Living with a drug or alcohol addiction.
  • Coping with poor mental health or behavioural problems.
  • Trying to find work.

Their work consists of, for example, working directly with rough sleepers on the street, influencing policy makers and public opinion, and training volunteer peer mentors, among many other vital services.

Published in Housing Practice


Written by Works for Freedom (03/06/14)

Lifeshare is a voluntary organisation established to help meet the needs of homeless and vulnerable people in Manchester and Salford.

The first point of contact is with people on the streets, offering practical assistance, support and information. From this point they offer continued assistance that enables people to secure suitable accommodation, support them in maintaining their tenancies, and help them to access initiatives that carry their lives forward.

They have three main projects:

Crisis Assessment & Referral Diversity Service (CARDS): targets vulnerable and marginalized young people aged 16 to 25 in Manchester, particularly those who are homeless (or at risk of becoming so) and those at risk of being sexually exploited.

Christmas Project: a Lifeshare service that relieves the isolation felt at Christmas by operating an 'open house' out of the Charter St Ragged School on Dantzic St in Ancoats from 8am to 8pm for six days over the Christmas period. From this facility they provide company, entertainment, food, clothing, bedding, toiletries, and medical care.

Weekend Breakfast Project: a service that operates from 7am to 9am, every Saturday and Sunday morning, serving on average 50 to 60 cooked breakfasts to those in need - all free of charge. (That's around 5000-6000 breakfasts a year!)

Published in Housing Practice

Maggs Day Centre is primarily for the homeless of Worcestershire.

It is a welcoming, safe haven for those whom are roofless to take care of their personal hygiene needs, have a substantial meal, get advice, social interaction from others in the same position or to just sit and have a warm drink in safety. Also welcome at Maggs are those who feel socially isolated, for whatever reason they may feel unable to go to somewhere socially and meet people. They are made welcome and are able to have a meal at the centre.

Services include:

Maggs Day Centre: - a direct access Day Centre offering food, shelter, support, washing/shower and laundry facilities.

The Activity Centre – The Centre runs skills training to help people manage their lives better. This includes reading, writing, cooking and art, together with the social skills necessary to reintegrate back into society.

Maggs Clothing Project - providing free clothes, bedding and domestic items to those in need or in hardship across the city.

The staff are on hand to assist with form filling, sign posting to other agencies or health professional, or to simply take time to make someone feel included. 

Published in Housing Practice

St Petrock's

Written by Works for Freedom (01/05/14)

St Petrock's is an Exeter-based charity helping people who are homeless, or vulnerably housed, lead more settled and fulfilling lives through their resource centre that provides Advice and Support, Housing and Support and Health and Crisis Services. Their aim is to improve quality of life, improve health, independent living skills and providing access to training and employment. St Petrock's believe that providing fast, accessible and responsive services is key to helping people off the streets, out of homelessness and into more stable lives.

They have a team that take on a wide range of projects and responsibilities. This includes work at HMP Exeter providing a Prison Resettlement service; their PORCH (Prolific Offender Resettlement in Co-Ordinated Housing) project based at Probation Service and a Rent and Support service that runs from the Centre. 

Published in Housing Practice

Caritas Anchor House is a residential and life skills centre for single homeless people. They support over 200 people each year, giving them so much more than just a roof over their heads. Their aim is to address the root causes of homelessness and create sustainable solutions that ensure the people we help will never find themselves in that situation again.

Identifying, addressing and finally overcoming the root causes of why someone is on the street is the cornerstone of Caritas Anchor House's success. Upon arrival, each individual becomes involved in their aspirations programme. This programme works with the individual so they can realise which areas of their lives need improving, what direction they want to take their life in, and through training and education, how to get there. 

Anchor house also has a recovery hub available to its residents and the community who are in recovery from alcohol and substance misuse. It is made up of the Recovery Capital Programme, the Recovery Café, SMART Recovery meetings, Peer Mentoring, the Abstinence Day Programme and Mutual Aid groups.

Published in Housing Practice

The Passage

Written by Works for Freedom (20/03/14)

The Passage runs London's largest voluntary sector day centre for homeless and vulnerable people: each day they help up to 200 men and women.

Their eight-strong team of Outreach Workers makes contact, often late at night or early in the morning, with those sleeping rough in Victoria as they are bedding down or getting up each day.

Their 40-bed hostel, Passage House, was officially opened on 1 March 2000. In the year 1 April to 31 March 2013, 23 residents completed a planned move on.

Their 16 self-contained studio flats in Montfort House have staff support on site and specialise in helping very long term rough sleepers.

They welcome and treat clients with respect and dignity, and find out what they need and want. They also offer professional and appropriate advice and help according to the client's needs and aspirations, so that they can agree an action plan with clients which is time limited with the aim of supporting clients out of homelessness.

Published in Housing Practice

Missing Link

Written by Works for Freedom (27/02/14)

Missing Link is a mental health and housing service, for women only, based in Bristol. They provide support to women who are sleeping rough, have a history of sleeping rough, or are in danger of losing their home due their mental illness.

Their many services include shared housing where women will recieve a flexible support plan to deal with their needs, build their skill base and help them move on to permanent housing. Missing Link also provides emotional support on the weekends to help women get to know the area they have moved into and feel confident about their new living arrangements. 

Counselling and specialist support for self-harm is also available, alongside support for accessing educational, voluntary and recreational activities within the city. 


Published in Housing Practice


Written by Works for Freedom (13/02/14)

Yacro know that people just coming out of prison that have no suitable accomodation to go to are very likely to offend and become convicted, and quickly.

This is why it is their mission to take these individuals and offer them a chance to have a secure and settled base from which to start their recovery and new life. When they arrive they are offered in-house numeracy and literacy courses, catering - to help them cook their own healthy meals, budgeting and job application skills. All of these basics are essenial to getting people on the right track and keeping them there.

Yacro has expanded to become a leading provider of a range of offender rehabilitation services, specialising in working with multiple and complex needs and entrenched behaviours. Their services include:

  • Male and female hostels
  • Second stage multiple occupancy
  • Shared housing
  • Drug abstinence and recovery
  • Integrated support package
Published in Housing Practice
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