Since 2015, GrowTH Housing has been providing the homeless with accessible and affordable accommodation in the borough, and the support to help transition from homelessness to independent living. It functions as a much-needed ‘stepping stone’, with many residents being referred directly from our own night shelter.
Staff have a presence throughout the week at the project with an office on site where residents meet for regular support. Each resident receives a bespoke plan, depending on their circumstances and their hopes for the future. Much of the support will focus on building up tenancy sustainment skills so that they are well equipped to handle a tenancy without support in the future. This could include something as simple as setting up a standing order to pay accommodation fees, or learning how to keep a clean and tidy room.
Staff also signpost towards the many other wonderful services offered in the borough, such as referring guests into CAP Money Management courses. Towards the end of each resident’s stay, the staff actively work with them to help secure onwards accommodation best suited to their needs and preferences.
One of the biggest obstacles to residents who have been homeless and marginalised is a lack of community and sense of belonging, with many finding themselves extremely isolated and hopeless. At GrowTH Housing, we aim to provide a space in which residents feel safe, cared for, and valued. GrowTH regularly hosts activities and social events aimed at connecting the residents together, building relationships with staff, and meeting with volunteers or local guests. Over the past year we have held BBQs, quizzes, an Open Day, Bengali groups, music lessons and Christmas & Easter parties to name just a few. Our weekly ‘coffee and cake’ is also popular, maybe thanks to the delicious, home baked cakes!
At Growth Housing we recognise a need to provide opportunities for residents to grow physically, emotionally and spiritually during their time here. All spiritual content is fully optional, but there are chances for the residents to explore the Christian faith if they wish. At the GrowTH office there are weekly Bible Studies taking place that cater for those of all levels of faith and knowledge, and staff are always keen to share their faith with residents who wish to know more.
GrowTH Housing is based in the Poplar, Tower Hamlets, in partnership with Poplar HARCA. We have 7 flats, housing 15 residents at any one time in shared accommodation where they each have their own bedroom and the use of a shared kitchen & bathroom. The accommodation fees are kept at a rate that is affordable for those in employment.
Over the past 7 years, we have provided housing for 68 residents in total, from all walks of life. As we look to the future of GrowTH Housing, we are aiming to continue our expansion, whilst seeking to improve the support and move-on options we provide to residents, and increasing the involvement of local GrowTH volunteers.
To find out more specific details on the project, and for information for referrers, please click here.