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Annual Review 2020 HOMELESSNESS

You guys have been incredible, I don't know where I'd be without you. You put me in the right direction. Thanks to you people I am where I am. I've been blessed!

2020: A Place to Call Home

Through the challenges we have all experienced this past year, a theme emerged among our work with the homeless... people need a home. A home is more than just four walls, it is a safe place where there is encouragement, acceptance, love and purpose. Our longstanding projects and the new projects which were launched during the pandemic, have all been reimagined and redesigned with this goal in mind.

Additionally, Faithworks now have the franchise for Hope into Action houses across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole: our first move-on house opened just a few weeks ago, supported by a local church who provide support and friendship to the tenants.

We are also hugely proud to have been one of the founding members of the local Homelessness Partnership (BCP) which has this year enabled over 400 people to get into temporary accommodation, and over 100 to move on into new homes.

Read on to see what all this means in practice...

"I came to know about Faithworks whilst I was a Sleepsafe guest a year or so a go. I then became a trainee on the Seed Team which I love.
I go to the Recovery course, Walks and also Recovery Days. I also attend Staysafe. Faithworks has helped me overcome my addictions, has given me the confidence and purpose I needed in life. It has given me a hope for the future and I have met many friends on my journey through Faithworks. This list could go on!"
Staysafe is open to everyone and non-judgmental, friendly, helpful, structured with verbal workshops held. Positive influence for people recovering from homelessness.

Helpline

In March 2020, we launched a telephone helpline in order to be able to continue our support to those who may be on the street and vulnerably housed.

The team regularly provide essential information about how to access support and services available locally. The team follow-up on enquiries and often liaise with other agencies if requested.

81 individuals have benefitted from this initiative during the last year.

Half-time

Our Half-time project reopened in July providing a Covid-secure laundry service to rough sleepers and those who had accessed emergency accommodation. We continue to run this service, expanding to include those who are in move-on accommodation and also launched a powerbank library for those who are rough sleeping.

We are so grateful to the YMCA for continuing to host this service in such a key town centre location.

42 loads of laundry per month were done on average throughout 2020 at Half-time.

Storehouse

Our Storehouse project has seen the most transitions of all of our projects this year. During the Covid-19 crisis, the Storehouse became a crucial distribution centre of food and toiletries packs for those recently placed into accommodation from the streets, as well as the most vulnerable in our community. Packed lunches for ex-rough sleepers were also prepared by local churches and community meal providers and delivered to The Storehouse for collection by BCP council.

The project then transitioned to become a furniture storage and delivery service for people who have been placed in move-on accommodation.

We are so grateful to the St Augustin's Church and Destiny Life Church for hosting the Storehouse and enabling us to run such a key service.

5,592 bags of food and toiletries were distributed to those in temporary accommodation during the last year.

Staysafe

Staysafe launched in November 2020, offering daytime support for people who have come off the streets and are in emergency or temporary accommodation. There are three aspects to their participation: to take action on their individual plans and to socialise (during the week), and have life chats with a meal at the weekend. It is a place where they can build healthy and forward-looking relationships, hosted and supported by local churches.

We are so grateful to the Trinity Methodist Church for providing a safe place for Staysafe to be hosted in.

28 people have been supported by Staysafe since being launched in November.

Streetvoice

Streetvoice is our Lived Experience Group formed from people who have experienced homelessness or slept rough on the streets or been at risk of being on the streets. We meet regularly for feedback on our current services. Streetvoice members play a vital role in being part of the decision-making process into what we do in the future, offering suggestions about future projects and how they are run. They have tremendous insight into what support and activities they found helpful.

An offshoot of their input is for some of the group to volunteer with us and be part of what we're doing. They want to come alongside new clients we have, who are where they have been previously, and help them.

Hope Into Action House

Hope into Action is a national charity that enables investors to buy houses for the homeless. The key to this model is that every house is supported by a local church who provide support and friendship to the tenants such as assistance with paperwork and budgeting skills, eating meals or watching a film together.

Faithworks in partnership with Hope into Action now have the franchise for this model and are looking to oversee more investment to buy more homes across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. Faithworks help the churches to support the tenants especially around tenancy management. Every house is linked with a local church for support as part of the 5 year leasing scheme. Churches are supported in turn by our Empowerment Worker who oversees tenancy management. She coordinates the links between the tenants and the church friendship team, helps tenants with their personal goals and ensures the smooth running of the house.

Thank you to all the investors and to Coastline Vineyard Church for being such a passionate first church providing friendship and support to the tenants.

Training Programme

Throughout this past year, we have been developing a training programme for ex-homeless. Each trainee has a bespoke training plan and 1-to-1 support suited to their interests, with specific goals and a record of achievements. Trainees are helped to learn new skills, build up confidence and improve their employability in the future.

A holistic approach is taken to offer support and encouragement in any aspect of life which presents a challenge to their learning. They can access online learning and also placements with BCARS (carpentry workshop and gardening team) or placements with external organisations.

11 trainees accessing bespoke training and support.

Seed Team

Our Seed Team started in July 2020, recruiting trainees from people in temporary accommodation. They are supervised 2 days each week doing garden maintenance and enhancements (e.g. fence posts, low level structural issues) and 1 day each week providing grounds maintenance and enhancements for churches across BCP. Trainees benefit from access to our Trainee Programme, receiving bespoke support to help increase their skills, confidence and qualifications.

39 people were supported with gardening services provided by The Seed Team over the last year.

Carpentry Workshop

Our carpentry workshop was closed for much of last year, due to Covid-restrictions, but was made Covid-secure and reopened to ex-homeless who access our training programme.

The workshop offers 3-month placements covering woodworking skills, a workshop induction, instruction in machine operation and involvement in the design and manufacture of recycled wooden products for the Doorstop Shop.

Thank you to St Michael's Church for hosting the carpentry workshop and enabling our carpentry training programme to run.

45 carpentry workshop permits and certificates were issued during the last year.

Doorstop Shop

Our online and physical charity shop launched in September, offering the local community an opportunity to purchase quality, upscaled and newly crafted wooden items made by our trainees. As well as selected wooden furniture, jewellery and other useful products of a high standard. All the profits go into helping ex-rough sleepers start a new life.

Thank you to St John's Church, Surrey Road, Bournemouth for hosting the Doorstop Shop and helping us to keep doors open for the homeless.

The Doorstop Shop has welcomed 400 customers since it's launch in September 2020.

We have really enjoyed our time volunteering with BCARS. After the first lockdown, it was lovely to be able to get out and share with others in a purposeful project. It improved our own sense of well-being! We are delighted at the way BCP & FAITHWORKS have partnered to support some of the most vulnerable in our conurbation and have been pleased to be part of it.

We would like to thank the following funders for their support of our homelessness work...

Summary

What a year! Thank you for reading this review and thank you for caring for those less fortunate than ourselves. We have lots of people to thank including our own staff team, volunteers, local churches and partners and indeed even those we have helped during a very difficult year. People have shown a lot of character and fortitude during a crisis and have worked really well together. We have managed to keep our services running, demonstrating that what we do is essential not just in a crisis but all year round.

When you are in a crisis such as a pandemic we are almost forced to prioritise what’s the greatest need or what is essential in our lives. It’s not until you sit down and think about this do you realise that perhaps the people in your life are one of the most important and essential priorities in your life. You are also grateful to have a place you can call “Home.”

Sadly, for some people they don’t have anyone else or it can reinforce hurts and pain of the past and in some cases they have very real fears of being on their own. Being scared and alone isn’t a good place to be for anyone for any reason. Not having a place to call home can be very scary and makes anyone extremely vulnerable and unsettled. So being on your own without a home just isn’t right which is why our services try to support people through this very difficult period in their lives.

We have learnt a lot over the last year working together but key to the success is sharing the same aims for each individual who need to feel SAFE, LOVED and have a sense of PURPOSE. If we can help people feel safe, have a sense of belonging and a reason and purpose to live then they may just start to feel at home. A place to call their home should never be the street!

Our aim for the future is to make more people feel at home in our society and community so they may one day reach that point in their lives that they know there is a God who accepts them and loves them just as they are.

We look forward to working with you in this future work that is essential in our world today. Please pray that our work may help melt fears, set people free and accept people, as God accepts each one of us. If you feel moved to help us in this essential and vital work to help people have a home, maybe even for the first time, then please contact us as soon as you can. Thank you.

God bless, David Chidwick - Homelessness Projects Manager