Cardiff centre for people who’ve experienced homelessness welcomes Lord Bourne
published on 8 May 2018
A Cardiff centre which helps people to rebuild their lives after they’ve experienced homelessness, hosted a visit by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on Thursday (3 May).
The UK Government Minister at the Wales Office went to the Salvation Army-run Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse and spoke to staff and residents to learn about the work done there to help people to get their lives back on track.
Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, who is also Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, said:
“I am delighted to be visiting one of Wales’ most recognisable charities, dedicated to providing people who’ve experienced homelessness with the around the clock services they need.
“Tŷ Gobaith presents a lifeline to many people, and the UK Government fully recognises the contribution The Salvation Army makes to our communities.”
Tŷ Gobaith is a Salvation Army Lifehouse. Lifehouses give their residents tailored support to rebuild their confidence, tackle underlying issues and put them on a path towards being able to live independently.
Salvation Army staff and Lord Bourne discussed funding for supported housing facilities such as Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse during the visit.
The plans could affect The Salvation Army’s ability to provide secure accommodation for people who have been experiencing homelessness in Cardiff and other parts of the UK.
Emma Paynter, Service Manager of Tŷ Gobaith said:
“Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse is a safe environment where we support residents to rebuild their lives and regain their confidence and our staff and residents enjoyed meeting and welcoming Lord Bourne here today.
“We gave Lord Bourne a tour of the facilities we have here and discussed the work that’s carried out at Tŷ Gobaith – such as the one-to-one support sessions we provide residents and the activities that are here for them including the job club and football league.
“We see the potential in everyone at Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse and provide our residents with the opportunities and encouragement they need to guide them onto the road towards reaching that potential so that they can break the cycle of homelessness and lead independent and fulfilling lives.”
Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse is located at 240 Bute Street in Cardiff and is a 24 hour, seven days a week supported residential housing centre for adults over the age of 18 who are experiencing homelessness. It provides tailor-made services to its residents to meet their individual needs and support them in making positive changes in their lives.Tŷ Gobaith has a dedicated skills team which meets all the educational needs of its residents by giving them access to training courses through Learn Direct, Agored Cymru, iLearn and The Life College – a programme developed especially for the centre’s residents.
Andy and Brian (not their real names) are both currently living at Tŷ Gobaith and receiving support.
“I took drugs and was a pain to people all my life but Tŷ Gobaith has changed me and I feel like I’m part of the world again” said Andy.
“Tŷ Gobaith is amazing – nobody else could have helped me before to come off drugs and that’s down to the people here because the staff are like your family. They make you feel welcome and the support the staff give you is amazing because they enjoy their jobs and you can see that on their faces. They go out of their way and are giving us support because they want to and are not expecting anything back. I used to have big issues around trust, but I can talk to the staff here about anything.”
Speaking about how Tŷ Gobaith has changed his life, Brian said:
“My life was bad and I was in a dark place - I was taking crack and drinking and I always thought I’d be on drugs and alcohol forever. I once took an overdose – enough drugs to kill three people, and actually died for seven and a half minutes. That’s when I knew it was time to stop doing drink and drugs and start doing something with my life, because if I didn’t it was going to kill me. I got onto the Bridge Programme at Tŷ Gobaith and when you come here you learn that drink and drugs don’t work and that there’s only one person who can change everything, and that’s you. Tŷ Gobaith were prepared to give me a chance and they saved my life.”