Ipswich MP visits Salvation Army homelessness centre amid fears over future funding
published on 13 Feb 2018
Major Derek Jones, Divisional Commander; Sandy Martin MP; Sharon Ralph, Service Manager
Sandy Martin MP (Ipswich) spent the morning with staff and residents at Lyndon House Lifehouse today (12 February) to hear how changes in government funding could prevent The Salvation Army from continuing to provide supported housing to people experiencing homelessness in and around Ipswich.
If the reform is implemented as planned, residents of Lyndon House could find it harder to access financial support because the government has decided to fund ‘short-term’ supported housing entirely through discretionary local authority grants. Without reliable funding, The Salvation Army believes it will be much harder to provide secure accommodation and appropriate support in Ipswich - the future sustainability of Lyndon House is now uncertain.
After touring the centre’s accommodation and communal spaces with service manager Sharon Ralph, Mr Martin heard from Salvation Army staff about their concerns.
Sharon said: “We are very pleased that Mr Martin took the time to come and see the vital work that’s done here to help people with a variety of complex needs find a route out of homelessness.
“I am especially pleased he was able to speak with our residents and hear how we are supporting them to take the next step on their journey to independent living.
“However, the government plans to fund supported housing through discretionary local authority grants. With council budgets already being stretched, there are no guarantees that Ipswich Borough Council will have the ability to provide long-term funding for the support services we offer here at Lyndon House.”
Mr Martin said: “Homelessness, loneliness and addiction are terrible scourges in Ipswich, and we desperately need the facilities that The Salvation Army provide. It’s not just about finding housing for homeless men, it is also about helping them to turn their lives around and enabling them to eventually move on and lead meaningful lives.”
Lyndon House Lifehouse provides person-centred support with accommodation for 39 people experiencing homelessness.
Salvation Army staff help residents identify and access development opportunities, including courses in cooking, budgeting, maintaining a tenancy and looking after a home. The aim is to equip residents with the life skills they need to move on and live successful, independent lives within the community.
The Salvation Army is a church and charity dedicated to caring for people who are vulnerable or in need. Through its Lifehouse on Fore Street and churches on Woodbridge Road, Bramford Road and Queens Way, The Salvation Army is at the heart of the town and provides compassionate support, practical help and a warm welcome to all.
For more information about our work, please visit The Salvation Army.