When individuals come to stay at our crisis shelter – the Gatehouse – they are taking the first step towards making positive life changes. We have tried to make the 10-bed shelter a warm and welcoming space for people who present, some of whom will have spent some time on the street. Here, they are given food, a clean bed and a safe place to stay. If they need other clothes or footwear, we supply it for them. Once they are in our shelter, individuals have a guaranteed bed for up to three months as long as they are working on their plan for the future and meeting the expectations set out for all Gatehouse residents. Our experience is that as residents learn that they can trust and rely on us, they become more confident about accepting our support and guidance.
Individuals who are ready to move on from the crisis shelter are provided with opportunity to transition to the 24/7 Community House where they can engage with a more stable environment, with the support of staff that are invested in their well-being, as they re-learn the skills to live independently.
The Community House has twenty beds. Most rooms are singles and some are doubles, but no room has more than two beds. The rooms are clean and bright which we hope goes a long way towards making our residents feel safe. Following an average stay of six months they may then be ready to move out to the wider community to longer term social housing options and/or private rented.
There will be others, however, who have shown a commitment to progress towards independence but who still need a chance to practice life skills before fully moving on. These individuals are given the opportunity to transition from the Community House to one of our fully-furnished and supported community houses where they can live rent-reduced for a period up to eighteen months. During this time they will be expected to engage with housing services to make sure they are settling in comfortably, managing their responsibilities, and preparing for a future of independent living.