Within Centenary House and Calder Fountain, we accommodate 68 direct access homeless beds for single men, 12 beds within the night shelter, and a registered unit consisting of 28 beds within Calder Fountain, alongside 12 resettlement units. Stephen Potter has been the Service Manager of these varied programmes since September 2012. The service provides support through a committed staff team to all service users who access the Lifehouse. Whether through Calder Fountain or Centenary House, service users are developed and supported to achieve the best they can.
A fitness programme has been introduced in Centenary House, with a fully equipped gym available for users to utilise. This programme promotes both Physical and mental wellbeing, and reinforces the positives of client involvement in the service. The Opportunity to network and forge relationships with a local gym in Belfast continues to be beneficial to service provided within the gym at Centenary House.
Client involvement is key not only in the gym, but in other areas of the service, including recruitment, Safety Action Groups, surveys regarding catering and service offered, training and regular consultations on policies and procedures. The development of service user involvement continues to be a priority for of those who work within the Lifehouse.
A resident’s view:
“So what can I tell you about Calder? Well, first off, me Keyworker Mandy is very supportive of my needs to the point of sourcing information, not only for myself, but for issues that I am involved in outside the project such as dealing with situations which have arisen while supporting my ex-wife and her family. Mandy is very much ‘help the whole person’, and not ‘let’s keep it job related’.
Having a background in project work myself, having worked for the Simon Community some years ago, I feel that I have a unique perspective on hostel life and I find it heartening to be dealing with a keyworker that puts so much of themselves into the very hard and demanding job, and to find that this seems to be true of most, if not all of the staff here, from management to project staff. It can be so easy to lose sight of the fact that a person is the sum of all his problems.”
Calder Fountain is a registered unit within Belfast, accommodating those with mental health illnesses. The biggest challenge we face at present is a significant reduction in funding in 2015/2016, which will require the service to be reviewed and reshaped.
Centenary House Night Shelter achieved an average occupancy rate of 88.9% in 20 13/2014, and a total of seven incidents throughout this period. This service is needed within the city of Belfast and exploring the extension of the opening hours of the Centenary House Night Shelter has begun, as well as considering providing beds to accommodate female rough sleepers within the city.