|We hope you are well and that recent events have not taken too great a toll on you and your loved ones. Hope House Essex continues to go from strength to strength, despite the challenges that have been thrown at all of us. As a supporter of Hope House Essex, we thought you might like to hear what has been going on since we last updated you.|
As you know, we bought a second house in June 2019 and we have worked since then to get it ready to accept residents. The house required a hard-wired fire alarm system, a CCTV system and work to separate the stairs from the living area to meet Housing of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) standards. In addition, we needed carpeting, decorating, new fire doors and a room constructed for a second toilet. We also had to source furniture through donations and charity shops. We have now completed all this and have the capacity to house 8 previously homeless people across the 2 houses. This is as a result of some very generous funding from both local and national groups and some very hard work from our volunteers and supporters. So, thank you!
In other developments, we now employ a part-time worker to help engage the residents in constructive activities including exercise, DIY and other activities to support their physical and mental well-being.
We have also employed a part-time book-keeper to help us stay on top of our accounts but still run on the equivalent of less than 2 full-time staff despite the expansion of our services.
We also have received National Lottery funding to start and develop a 3 year project called Hope House Community. This is aimed at preventing homelessness through outreach work to support people who are beginning to find themselves in housing difficulty and also to work with our ex-residents once they have moved on from Hope House to ensure that they maintain their new home and don’t become homeless again. We are really excited about the opportunity that this funding has afforded us and hope we can make an even greater impact on reducing homelessness in the area.
We have however, been negatively affected by the pandemic with both an increase in demand for support and a reduction in opportunities to raise funds. We had to cancel our annual summer garden party and a quiz we had planned for the autumn. We have had to change to a virtual version of our Santa Fun Run which has been our big annual fundraiser (please head to our website www.hopehouseessex.org.uk for more details). We have also found that it has been difficult to secure grants from funds as practically everyone has switched their focus to new need arising from coronavirus. We are unable to demonstrate new need, and have therefore been unable to apply, but our services are as vital as ever, and the need for what we do is very sadly only going to grow in the coming months and years.
We know everyone has been affected in different ways, and to varying extents, by the pandemic but if you feel you are able to offer us anything towards the work we do, it would be most appreciated.
Thank you again for your support – we really could not do it without you!
All at Hope House Essex