Hope House Essex (HHE) has two houses in Braintree where we offer 8 otherwise homeless people temporary, single accommodation. The background and circumstances of our residents variable. It may be a difficult start in life with family separation, foster care or children’s homes, lack of education, and being vulnerable at a young age. Homelessness and shortages of money easily lead to addictions of alcohol, drugs and crime. Others may have had relatively normal lives until being made redundant, divorced, separated from children or bereaved, and then find themselves homeless.
Residents at HHE have their own room in a house shared with three others. Each have their own support worker along with staff available each morning
But that was before Covid 19 arrived. Staff have increasingly had to work remotely from home. In the summer 1:1 sessions were possible in the garden. Now in winter and lockdown, Elim church have allowed us to use their spacious facilities to reduce the risk of covid and allow staff and trustees to continue to see residents and do assessments of potential new residents.
During the year many organisations and facilities have been reduced. Council offices are closed and only available on line. Difficult for those illiterate or with no access to computers. Mental Health assessments hard to attain normally, and made even more difficult, as conducted over the phone. This has reduced efficiency and caused delays and frustration for us all. There are also great concerns for the coming year when many more people become homeless from redundancy, unemployment and debt due to the ongoing Covid crisis.
We are grateful to all our donors, fundraisers and supporters. We now have funding to increase our work in the community with past residents, who often struggle to manage. In non Covid times we offer an evening meal in a near by hall for past and present residents which we call Hope House Community. They can get a meal, a haircut, individual support and join a Kintsugi mental health, wellbeing course. The challenges to residents and staff are many but it is rewarding to see residents move to their own home. One past resident said he felt loved and cared for by us for the first time in many years. Now he has his own flat, is fully employed and befriending others.
From all at Hope House Essex, thank you for your interest, donations & support. This enables us to work towards breaking the cycle of homelessness.
Sue Vernon Trustee. 13/02/21