28 March 2017 - 4:29pm
Bristol Council’s health and wellbeing tsar, Councillor Fi Hance visited The Salvation Army’s Logos House Lifehouse on Friday (24 March) to hear how government plans to change the way supported housing is funded could make it more difficult for the church and charity to continue helping people experiencing homelessness.
Councillor Hance, who is a Cabinet Member for City Health and Wellbeing, was invited to Logos House by The Salvation Army so she could see, first-hand, the range of support the centre offers to help single men escape the cycle of homelessness.
During her special tour with Programme Co-ordinator Waldemar Duzniak; Councillor Hance heard how service users at Logos House not only receive emotional support and vocational training they are also encouraged to take responsibility for the communal garden and the centre’s clutch of chickens whilst they are there.
Waldemar Duzniak said: “People are homeless for a variety of different reasons so a one-size-fits-all approach really doesn’t work. The type of support we have here is different for everyone. Each client is offered one to one support and we have plans in the pipeline to offer specialist counselling as part of a psychologically-informed approach. We also offer a lot of opportunities to take part in activities such as football, music, art, gardening and chicken husbandry that aim to build skills and boost self-esteem.”
The Salvation Army’s Regional Manager for Southern homelessness services, Brian Gibbs said:
“At present the proposed changes to how supported housing like ours is funded is still at the consultation stage but potentially it could mean our budget is severely reduced. So it was really important for us to show the cabinet member exactly what we do here and the success we’re having supporting people into learning, employment and sustainable independence"
“If enough organisations like us come forward to highlight how the proposals could badly affect their homelessness prevention work, there’s still hope that our concerns will be taken into account.”
Logos House Lifehouse is at the front line of The Salvation Army’s work to help society’s most vulnerable and marginalised people with compassionate support and training through supported accommodation; education and skills programmes, outreach support and addiction recovery services.
The lifehouse aims to empower service users to secure independence and is passionate about breaking the cycle of homelessness, whilst constantly seeking innovative and personalised ways to support people in addressing the issue and achieving sustained change.