An ‘Outstanding’ home for the homeless

Edward Gibbons House, a home for men who have previously lived on the streets for many years, has been rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.

Run by Providence Row Housing Association (PRHA), the home in E2 offers a safe shelter, regular meals and caring staff to help residents overcome trumatic pasts. For many of the residents, life experiences have taken a heavy toll on their physical and mental health. Most arrive with addiction issues.

Funded by the council, staff support residents to recover by accessing relevant services such as visits to a GP or Nurse, helping them to stabilise, build self-confidence and develop a sense of purpose.

In 2018 the building was refurbished with funding from the Greater London Authority Homelessness Change Programme – new medical rooms, a training space, IT Suite and a life skills kitchen were added.The improvements have made an immense difference to residents who can now learn to cook for themselves and also take part in training sessions on a wide range of topics. This helps support residents to become independent to avoid becoming homeless again. Residents also take part in running the scheme. The keep the garden blooming, publish their own newsletter, help each other through the Peer-Mentoring scheme and run the daily Lunch Club. They also take part in staff meetings to offer their perspective on how things are running and are involved in staff recruitment.

James’s story

“I couldn’t see how I will ever be able to rebuild my life again at my age, I felt so hopeless and helpless. I thank you all for your support”

 

James was nearly 50 when he became homeless and started to sleep on the streets. He moved around a lot but after 5 years moved into PRHA. He started to build a good relationship with his support workers & has addressed the alcohol and anger issues that had stopped him being rehoused in the past. His health has improved through exercise and he is looking forward to working in the construction industry again.

 

Robert’s story

Robert had been in care and then rough sleeping for most of his life. Initially he mistrusted staff & didn’t build relationships with them. Following an interest in art he started to engage with the activities programmes run on-site by PRHA’s sister charity, Providence Row. As his confidence grew he was able to take on a role volunteering with a Premier League youth club as an assistant football coach.