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HOPE is a small charity that has been in existence since 1996, each year we work with many hundreds of homeless people, but we need additional capacity to meet the growing number of prospective clients – rather than turn them away.
Nationally, homelessness has increased for three years consecutively, with an estimated 185,000 people a year now affected (The Guardian 14 December 2013). Research by Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Crisis found that 1 in 10 people experience homelessness at some point in their life. It warned that recent reforms including; cuts in housing benefit, the so called bedroom tax, and the chronic lack of affordable housing, are already having an impact, most notably in the Midlands and the north. More homeless people are presenting themselves, during 2013 HOPE has seen an 11% increase in residents. Although official feedback on the National Rough Sleeper Survey has yet to be published (undertaken in Nottinghamshire on Friday 1st November 2013), in Bassetlaw there are around twice as many as previously estimated. On that night, as well as 32 people staying with HOPE, there are approximately 30 others out on the streets. As the weather gets colder many of those will be seeking to access our services, we operate the County’s only directly accessible hostel – where someone can knock at our door seeking a bed.
The property is currently in a poor state of repair, and therefore needs considerable physical improvements; internally and externally, to become fit for purpose. However, although we have already received some help through gifts-in-kind for materials, and have drafted grant submissions to a range of potential supporters, the investment required is considerable and more help is needed.
We anticipate that around 50 adults and between 20 & 30 young people will benefit from this project, each year. That may not seem great numbers, however, these are individuals who are at the margins of society, who have multiple issues, and are in greatest need of help and support. HOPE is likely to be their final option, other than rough sleeping and/or returning to the criminal justice system. This project will have a massive and long-lasting impact on the lives of the families, particularly young people. The facility, once created, will provide a safe environment from which to build their lives. It will allow them to develop in “normal” surroundings. It will allow their families to support them more effectively, to provide a stable environment that is recognised as necessary for young people to develop as they should. The ability to develop emotionally and socially, physically as well as educationally, is only truly effective when in a home, therefore their quality of life improves markedly along with their prospects for the future.
Essential Designs, a new concept was officially launched on Thursday 23rd January 2014. Councillor Ian Campbell, who represents Retford, was joined by staff and customers, to cut the ribbon to launch a new low-cost clothes retailer to the Town. Ian said; “its great to open something at the heart of Retford that will bring communityContinue Reading