The 10th of October is ‘World Homeless Day’ which aims to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness. The day aims to educate people about homeless issues, celebrate and support local good work and highlight local issues.
Working closely with Gloucester City Council’s Housing Options Team, we manage various properties that are designated for the use of households that are either under investigation by the Housing Options Team or have been accepted as homeless under the Homelessness Act 2002 and are awaiting permanent accommodation.
GCH Homeless Service manages three hostels that provide individual rooms with shared facilities as an alternative to Bed & Breakfast, and 28 self-contained flats that are used on a more longer-term basis. We also have a further 30 properties dispersed throughout Gloucester communities which are used to place families and single people who are able to manage a property of their own or to give them a chance at managing in their own accommodation, whilst continuing to find a permanent home.
On average our customers stay with us for 79 days.
Our aim is to provide a high standard of temporary accommodation that is safe & secure whilst at the same time arranging support to help them to prepare for more permanent accommodation.
Read Rachel’s Story
Did you know? So far this year we have…
Supported 119 households
42% were single people
A huge 58% were families
21% of those were in employment
62% of customers didn’t require any support, 17% had mental health issues or physical disabilities and 21% had a drug or alcohol addiction
Here are some more short stories and quotes from people who are currently living in our accommodation:
“I was a single Mum working part time, self- employed; I got in to a pickle with my finances and benefits, I fell behind with my rent and lost my home. I was just trying to do my best for my children. Now we are all living in one room and the debt is preventing me from moving on”
“I was working, it started with a wine in the evening to relax, it all spiraled out of control and social services became involved and my children were taken in to temporary foster care. I couldn’t work, I lost the home. I now have my children back, I am working hard to rebuild my life and keep us all together as a family”
“I had been in the forces, lived with my partner and we had a son. My partner couldn’t cope with being a Mum and walked out on us. I left the forces and concentrated on being a Dad. I started a new relationship and we moved in together into her flat. When my new partner turned round and said she did not want to bring up my son our world was turned upside again. I walked away with nothing, we needed to start again”
“When you are in private rented and the landlord decides he wants to sell the property you have to find a new home. Very few landlords will accept anyone on benefit, so you find yourself sat at the council offices hoping that they can find you somewhere safe to live. We ended up in temporary accommodation in Bristol until we were moved back in to Gloucester.”
“I was living with parents whilst working fulltime having completed a degree in engineering. Following a relationship breakdown I started going out at night with my friends and using cocaine.
This then led into using cocaine at work, due to this I then lost my high paid job in engineering and had no means to fund my cocaine which was now a habit.
I needed to find another way of funding my habit so I started to commit burglary. In 2017 I was convicted of burglary and was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Whilst I was in prison I started using another drug and became addicted.
After I was released from prison I was placed in temporary accommodation and I have been trying to get my life back together ever since. I am currently trying to find employment and have done a couple of temporary jobs so I am hopeful I will find something soon.”
We asked our current residents to explain what the word ‘Homelessness’ means to them and this is what they came up with…
H = Housing
O = Opportunities
M = Mental Wellbeing
E = Equality
L = Life
E = Empathy
S = Safety
S = Support
N = Negativity
E = Excluded
S = Sofa
S = Stereotyping
What we hope you take away from this article…
We hope that this article shows that anyone could become homeless and the majority of those who are classed as ‘homeless’ have faced barriers and often unforeseen circumstances.
We work in partnership with Gloucester City Council in the provision of interim homeless accommodation and services that include housing support. In addition to this we work closely with and support Gloucester City Mission.
Should you wish to support the work of GCM and our own homeless services here a few ways in you can be involved.
- Sponsor a bed http://www.gloscitymission.org.uk/winter-shelter-bed-appeal/
- Volunteering to take part in the soup run or provision of a hot meal from the night shelter.
- Donations to GCM. There is always a need for warm winter clothing, sleeping bags and socks/underwear.
- Donations to our homeless services – we always need hygiene pack items and also ready meals to support those that arrive with nothing. Please get in touch via 01452 424344.
Find out more following the links below;
Gloucester City Homes https://www.gch.co.uk/support-and-advice/support/homeless-accommodation-services/
Gloucester City Council https://www.gloucester.gov.uk/housing/homelessness/homeless-or-threatened-with-homelessness/
Gloucester City Mission http://www.gloscitymission.org.uk/