Minister for Housing and Homelessness sees first-hand the support and accommodation provided by The Salvation Army in East London

published on 22 May 2019

Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler visits Riverside Complex

We were pleased to welcome the Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Heather Wheeler MP to The Salvation Army's lifehouse for women in East London, Riverside Complex yesterday. 

Minister Wheeler was taken on a tour of the recently renovated buildings which make up Riverside Complex before meeting with residents and staff to hear about some of the issues they face and how The Salvation Army supports those who have experienced homelessness. 

Riverside Complex offers support to 81 women who are referred from Tower Hamlets Local Authority. Women may have lost their accommodation for a variety of reasons and others have had a long history of rough sleeping. On admission to Riverside Complex, a person-centred approach supports residents in an holistic way addressing their physical, emotional and spiritually needs. Many of those coming into The Salvation Army's service have complex needs of mental health issues, drug or alcohol abuse and a history of working in the sex industry and we aim to build up positive relationships with them to help them realise their own self-worth in order to move on in their lives. 

During the visit, we made the case for Minister Wheeler to make representations to HM Treasury for homelessness services to be considered when they make their case for local authority financial sustainability, as her Department prepares its submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review later this year..

Housing and Homelessness Minister Heather Wheeler MP said: 

“The vital work the Salvation Army does to support women out of homelessness is so appreciated and I would like to commend them for such a welcoming and comfortable facility. By allowing women to stay here and rebuild their lives, it gives them an opportunity to break the cycle of homelessness and ensure they are able to stay off the streets for good. 

“This government is committed to ending rough sleeping through our comprehensive Rough Sleeping Strategy, backed by £100m. However, we cannot do it without the hard work and dedication of groups such as The Salvation Army, who work tirelessly to support society’s most vulnerable at this facility and at many others across the country.”